Carbon capture and storage as a corporate technology strategy challenge

Latest estimates suggest that widespread deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) could account for up to one-fifth of the needed global reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Governments are attempting to stimulate investments in CCS technology both directly through subsidizing demonstration projects, and indirectly through developing price incentives in carbon markets. Yet, corporate decision-makers are finding CCS investments challenging. Common explanations for delay in corporate CCS investments include operational concerns such as the high cost of capture technologies, technological uncertainties in integrated CCS systems and underdeveloped regulatory and liability regimes. In this paper, we place corporate CCS adoption decisions within a technology strategy perspective. We diagnose four underlying characteristics of the strategic CCS technology adoption decision that present unusual challenges for decision-makers: such investments are precautionary, sustaining, cumulative and situated. Understanding CCS as a corporate technology strategy challenge can help us move beyond the usual list of operational barriers to CCS and make public policy recommendations to help overcome them. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.