Posted on 12 July 2013
The European Commission published a communication ‘on the Future of Carbon Capture and Storage’ on 27 March 2013. This document is WWF’s reply to the public consultation that is open until 2 July 2013.
The European Commission published a communication ‘on the Future of Carbon Capture and Storage’ on 27 March 2013. This document is WWF’s reply to the public consultation
that is open until 2 July 2013.
WWF’s general position on CCS in the EU WWF’s general position on CCS in the EU:
1. Energy scenarios relying significantly on CCS are inconsistent with current developments:
Commercialisation of CCS remains very slow. Nevertheless, decarbonisation scenarios like those in the European Commission’s 2050 roadmap frequently include large amounts of CCS. Counting on CCS to mitigate emissions without taking due account of the slow real-world pace of CCS development unrealistically increases the risk of unabated fossil fuel emissions.
2. A high-renewables pathway is more realistic, and no more costly:
WWF has a 100% renewable energy vision for 2050. This scenario relies on technologies already producing and saving terawatts of electricity every year. We advocate concentrating on the full range of efficiency, renewables, smart grid and interconnection technologies. The EC’s 2050 energy roadmap scenarios all have similar costs, whilst the CCS communication incorrectly assumes high renewables scenarios are more expensive.
3. WWF supports demonstration of CCS for specific uses:
We support the demonstration and deployment of CCS, particularly for those industrial processes where decarbonisation may be harder to achieve. In the power sector, there may be a limited transitional role for fossil fuels prior to 2050 in certain countries; sustainable biomass power with CCS should be investigated as a way to accelerate CO2 removal from the atmosphere.
4. Limited storage space argues for limited CCS:
The amount of pore space practically available for storage will be far lower than the technically available amount because some sites will not be cost effective or enjoy public support. The focus should be on the limited forms of CCS just noted, rather than vast amounts of power plant emissions for fossil fuels that can be replaced by renewable energy.
5. EU public financial support should be limited:
The NER-300 is suffering from a low carbon price, which further exacerbates a lack of enthusiasm from member states and the private sector to supply co-finance. A higher carbon price, through ETS reform, is key. But beyond this, funding from the private sector, incentivised by both the ETS and an emission performance standard, should bear the primary responsibility for development.