Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Economic slowdown hits carbon storage

Adelaide Advertiser
5 Oct 2011, Page: 65

THE number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects globally fell in the past year and the technology is threatened by the financial crisis, a new report has found. The Australia-based Global CCS Institute's annual report says there are 74 large-scale integrated CCS projects around the world, 14 of which are operating or under construction. That is down from 77 a year ago.

CCS involves storing greenhouse gases underground rather than leaving them in the atmosphere as emissions. The United Nations recommends it as essential in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, to limit temperature increases to 2C by 2100, but the International Energy Agency says 1500 large-scale CCS projects are needed by 2035. The global temperature is predicted to rise by 3.5C, wreaking havoc on human wellbeing, a Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum in Beijing heard last month.

There are eight large scale projects in operation globally and six under construction. Another 11 large-scale projects were put on hold or cancelled in the past year. The most likely reasons were they lost financial support as they were deemed uneconomic and the uncertainty about whether carbon reduction policies would be introduced. The developments were occurring against a backdrop of a softening global economy, a lack of carbon price incentives in major emitter regions and largely static government support, institute chief executive Brad Page said.