What can we expect from Europe’s carbon capture and storage demonstrations?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) on electricity generation and energy intensive industry is expected to play a considerable role in achieving the European Union’s decarbonisation goals. EU CCS demonstration project funding has been created to encourage development and accelerate commercial CCS deployment by providing funds to bridge the capital gap for early commercial-scale CCS installation. Eleven CCS project proposals currently remain at least nominally active, but reduced funding and other constraints suggest at best delivery of around a third of these. To explore how these demonstrations impact on the scale of subsequent CCS deployment in the EU three simple scenarios for post-demonstration CCS activity and deployment (none, limited and considerable) are considered and examined in the context of key factors that have influenced the demonstration programme. Without strong political support for post-demonstration deployment including measures such as strategic storage validation and CO2 pipeline planning, and a clear process to make CCS commercially attractive to investors on a timeline consistent with climate ambitions, even a positive result from the demonstration programme is unlikely to enable CCS to deliver as expected. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.