UKCCSRC September 2018 Conference Session Blog: The CCUS opportunity

This blog was produced by Eduardo Garcia

Several approaches have been devised to achieve sustainable pathways in the industry sector. In recent years, remarkable progress in terms of improved efficiency and integration of renewable energy based on wind and solar resources has reduced the use of fossil fuels in the energy mix but decreasing the deleterious effect of fossil fuels to reach the set targets of decarbonisation by 2050 requires a sustained effort in which CCUS is a vital component.

In fact, despite the achievements in this regard the share of coal in the energy mix for TPES worldwide has not decreased which means CO2 emissions from coal are going still to be on the scene in the coming years and solar or wind energies do not take the CO2 out of the atmosphere. In the UK, some argue about the convenience of funding CCUS or renewables, it is a biased way of seeing the situation because it does not consider the whole picture as there is no room for competition between renewables and CCUS, these technologies complement each other indeed.

One example is BECCS which could lead to negative CO2 emissions. Recently, in a report by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, it was claimed that more than half of the CO2 will need to be captured either via BECCS or DACCS to make the UK carbon neutral and mitigate the worst effects of climate change by 2050. Nevertheless, these technologies are still in the making and governmental support is going to be required to secure their implementation at the necessary rates, it means supportive policy frameworks to get the industry, community and other stakeholders on board as we have seen before with successful examples of policies and incentives in wind and solar sectors.

The challenge ahead requires a holistic approach and there is not a unique solution to be implemented but definitely, regardless of the strategies to take, CCUS is going to play a key role to make the UK carbon neutral in the future and a leader in the CCUS worldwide scene but timely action matters. Therefore, early action is required to bring down the cost and the clusters are going to be an essential asset to speed up the uptake of CCUS and low-carbon technologies.