The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a new report on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) based on its belief that the technologies are “an important solution for decarbonization of the global energy system as it proceeds down the path to net-zero emissions.” This position aligns with the broader international environmental community, as well as that of large swathe of American elected officials from both political parties.
Here are three key points from the report:
- CCUS is “proven and effective” – As we discussed in our most recent blog post, a significant portion of the opposition to carbon pipeline projects is premised on the incorrect belief that carbon capture technology writ large is “unproven” or unreliable. In fact, according to the IEA, “the piloting and demonstration of dedicated storage has been occurring since the 1990s. Dedicated storage also builds upon 50 years of lessons learned from CO2 enhanced oil recovery and over 150 years of subsurface activity by the oil and gas sector.” In other words, here in the U.S., thanks to our energy expertise, we are well-positioned to apply those skills to the next phase of our lower-carbon energy landscape. For more information on the relationship between CCUS and fossil fuels, check out our blog post HERE.
- CCUS is effectively regulated – Many opponents to carbon capture projects cite a belief that the technology and its infrastructure are not sufficiently regulated or subject to enough government oversight. According to IEA, regulatory oversight, robust site assessment, and competent site operations support risk management and contribute to CO2 storage safety. The report notes, “Measurement, monitoring, and verification programs – a mandatory part of CO2 storage operations – underpin risk management processes and demonstrate effective CO2 storage.”
- Momentum for CCUS is growing – IEA notes that as of the middle of 2022, more than 130 CO2 storage sites are in development in 20 countries. Sixty of those sites were announced in 2021. By 2030, they project that annual dedicated injection capacity could increase to more than 110 million metric tons from the 10 million metrics tons available today. The United States is well-positioned to take a leadership role in driving the implementation and accessibility of CCUS to the benefit of not only our domestic economy and carbon footprint, but energy security for our friends and allies around the world. To read more about the impact CCUS can have on global energy security, take a look at our blog post HERE.
To read what other environmental organizations and experts are saying about carbon capture, check out CAP’s resource library HERE.