Tackling CO2 reduction in India through use of CO2 capture and storage (CCS): Prospects and challenges

CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is not currently a priority for the Government of India (GOI) because, whilst a signatory to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, there are no existing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and most commentators do not envisage compulsory targets for India in the post-2012 phase. The overwhelming priority for the GOI is to sustain a high level of economic growth (8%+) and provision of secure, reliable energy (especially electricity) is one of the widely recognised bottlenecks in maintaining a high growth rate. In such a supply-starved context, it is not easy to envisage adoption of CCS-which increases overall generation capacity and demand for coal without increasing actual electricity supply-as being acceptable. Anything which increases costs-even slightly-is very unlikely to happen, unless it is fully paid for by the international community. The majority viewpoint of the industry and GOI interviewees towards CCS appears to be that it is a frontier technology, which needs to be developed further in the Annex-1 countries to bring down the cost through RD&D and deployment. More RD&D is required to assess in further detail the potential for CO2 storage in geological reservoirs in India and the international community has an important role to play in cultivating such research.