News overview

Urgent need for Europe to start investing in CO2 infrastructure

27 August 2013

A recent report by ZEP highlights the importance of starting to invest and prepare for CO2 infrastructure. Unless the EU urgently invests in transport infrastructure for CCS technology, it will fail to meet its climate change goals.

€ 2.5 billion

The European Commission's recent Communication on CCS stated that CCS is "vital for meeting the Union's greenhouse gas reduction targets." Large-scale CCS requires an infrastructure capable of transporting 100s of millions of tonnes of CO2 every year - from power plants and heavy industry to storage sites, across the whole of Europe. However, due to long lead times - 6 to 10 years to build facilities such as pipelines and storage sites - development must start now, ahead of wide-scale deployment of CCS.

Commenting on the report's findings, ZEP Chairman, Dr. Graeme Sweeney, said: "Without urgent investment in CO2 infrastructure - at least €2.5 billion by 2020 - the EU will fail to meet its own climate change targets. The cost of delay will be massive. A 10 year delay in the deployment of CCS will increase the global costs of decarbonising the power sector alone by $1 trillion."

Five key political actions

Urgent political action is needed to overcome current barriers to investment. The report recommends five key actions for governments:
· Establish short-term incentives beyond the EU ETS to de-risk investment for early movers.
· Provide funding to aid the development of CO2 infrastructure in its own right - not tied to a specific capture plant.
· Make funding for CO2 infrastructure an integral part of the EU Energy Infrastructure Package - especially for CCS projects serving emissions clusters. These should be termed projects of ‘Common Interest' as even those located wholly in one Member State will facilitate wider deployment.
· Waive third-party access requirements for early movers until clarity on this issue is achieved.
· Member States which have yet not ratified OSPAR and London Protocol amendments should do so urgently in order to enable cross-border CO2 transport and storage, where necessary.

12 September conference

This topic will also be discussed in Edinburgh on 12 September at a free CCS conference Unlocking North Sea CO₂ Storage for Europe.


Download the ZEP report 

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27 August 2013

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