Improving the global carbon capture and storage educational capacity

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is commonly regarded as a key element in the mitigation of climate change. CCS is of particular interest as it is able to address emissions from fossil fuel power stations, reducing CO2 emissions by 80–90%, without a step change in technology or lifestyle within a country. This is of particular relevance for the large and growing coal fired power plant capacity in the developing world, particularly China and India. If CCS is going to make a significant impact on global CO2 emissions then the development and deployment of the technology over the next 50 to 100 years will have to be significant. Currently however, the global awareness and educational levels around CCS technology is low and mainly confined to the developed world. To meet the requirements of the future CCS industry this educational capacity must be increased. There are a number of key areas relating to the improvement of educational capacity: Information dissemination, Undergraduate studies, Post-graduate research, Professional training program. The scope of this paper only includes the undergraduate and post-graduate areas. Post-graduate work in CCS is currently the best developed of the four areas of educational capacity. However the bulk of quality post-graduate research would still only emanate from a small number of universities in developed countries. Undergraduate studies in CCS are currently non-existent. The only inclusion of CCS in undergraduate program currently is the mention of the general principles briefly as part of a much broader engineering program. This paper will look at international efforts to address the need to develop educational capacity in CCS. This will include looking at current training programs that exist such as the European CO2ReMoVe Course on CCS, the US–Norway Summer School for CCS, Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS), and the IEA GHG International Summer School on CCS. All the current programs are aimed at post-graduate stud ents who are currently conducting research in a CCS relevant field and mainly focus on the developed world. The paper will discuss the history and outcomes of such programs to make some assessment of the impact these programs have had in the CCS industry. The paper will then go on to look at ways in which these could be expanded and developed in the future including how current educational programs could be extended or modified to address CCS education amongst undergraduate students. An assessment will als o be made on how these programs could be transferred and initiated in the developing world. Finally the paper will go on to propose some new ways to improve CCS educational capacity for students around the world.