EU body calls for immediate action on CCS

Jun 19 2013


The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP) has called for "an urgent and fundamental re-set to the Carbon Capture and Storage programme in Europe."

During a public hearing in the European Parliament, Dr. Graeme Sweeney, Chairman of ZEP, emphasised the urgency of deploying CCS, “Without immediate political action to enable CCS, Europe will face severe environmental, social and economic consequences.  We will lose jobs, be behind on innovation and we will not meet our 2050 emissions reductions objectives.”

The ZEP has called for a re-set of CCS iniatives in the EU to speed up deployment of the technology.

The ZEP stated that CCS is the single most powerful tool today for addressing climate change, and Europe cannot be cost effectively decarbonised without it. CCS represents tremendous value for money, the body said, and IEA scenarios show that decarbonising the power sector would cost $1 trillion more if the deployment of CCS is delayed for 10 years.

"China, Canada, Australia and the U.S. are all gaining ground in developing CCS, while Europe falls behind. CCS is vital to Europe’s future competitiveness and economic prosperity, preserving jobs in key industries and promoting a low-carbon economy. The longer we delay delivering CCS the higher the cost, with jobs lost to other regions and industry relocating to those areas that are leaders rather than laggards."

Proper policy and funding mechanisms to deliver large scale CCS demonstration projects in Europe are urgently needed, it continued.

"We need a robust and efficient EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) able to drive investment in low carbon technology, including in CCS. In this context, ZEP urges members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to use tomorrow’s vote to endorse constructive amendments that support backloading as a temporary measure to tackle the current over supply of EU ETS allowances. This is the first step necessary before structural measures can be implemented."

"EU funding instruments are also crucial. The second phase of the NER300 funding programme, as well as recycling existing funds under the European Economic Programme for Recovery (EEPR), are essential to achieving the development of successful demonstration projects."

"To ensure the long-term availability of funding, ZEP also supports the extension of NER300 beyond phase two by introducing an ‘innovation fund’. Another example of how funding can be brought forward would be to establish a tradable CCS certificate scheme at the EU level, which if carefully designed, would drive the investments needed to deliver defined volumes of CCS. At Member State level actions to stimulate CCS using Contracts for Difference and Feed in Tariffs would be welcome."

MEP Chris Davies, rapporteur for the Parliament's forthcoming report on developing CCS in Europe, said, “CCS can significantly reduce the cost of building a low carbon economy in Europe. We will continue to depend on fossil fuels for our energy for many decades and we need to take action now to decarbonise that use of fossil fuels. We cannot afford further delay. When it comes to providing financial support, CCS should be treated on a level playing field with other low carbon technologies.”

ZEP


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