The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has once again underscored the importance of energy security to both individual nations and to maintaining global order. Because energy is a necessity, energy security can determine how governments set energy and trade policies and how countries engage and cooperate with one another.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “energy security” is the nexus of access to energy and national security. Or, as the International Energy Agency defines it, energy security is “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.”
In other words, the safety of our nation and people depends on energy to keep running our government buildings, military bases, hospitals, homes, businesses, and modes transportation. That energy needs to be accessible and affordable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
For that reason, policy conversations around existing and new energy sources must be approached thoughtfully. It is more complicated than simply flipping a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Even if that were possible, the realities of technology and infrastructure today mean that doing so in one fell swoop would threaten to undermine the reliability and resiliency of our most basic institutions. To say nothing of the risk of making energy and power untenably expensive for millions of people.
Additionally, there is another component to be considered: energy security through energy diversity. In the same basic principle that would keep you from investing all your money in one entity, our security is enhanced when we rely on multiple energy sources. Here in the United States, we are fortunate to have a wealth of natural resources and advanced technologies that support a diverse energy supply.
Taken together, all of those considerations mean that there is an important role for CCUS here in the U.S. For more on that, take a look at our first blog post “The Case for Carbon Capture.”
For the same reasons, the case for CCUS is equally strong in other countries around the world, many of whom rely on imports of energy to maintain their economies.
While some countries are well-positioned to make significant investments into leveraging renewable sources like wind and solar, others are not because they either 1) can’t afford to do so or 2) don’t have the natural resources to meet demand. In those cases, carbon capture technologies represent a clean, affordable energy supply, while still reducing the need for any one nation to rely on energy imports.
The growth of an American carbon capture industry can support global energy security. Because we have the resources to scale and deploy these technologies, the United States is in a position to support our friends and allies as they look to reduce the carbon emissions of their industrial sectors. Not only does this support environmental goals, but it also creates new markets for U.S. technology, supporting the economic benefits of carbon capture.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 750 million tons of carbon dioxide need to be captured worldwide by 2030 to establish a global energy system that meets climate goals and provides universal energy access. If we are serious about meeting those goals, then we need to get serious about carbon capture.
To learn more about how these technologies can be leveraged, check out CAP’s Resource Library here.