Carbon capture projects are on the rise. Right now, there are 13 commercial-scale carbon capture facilities operating in the U.S., capturing 25 million tons of CO2, with another 30 in various stages of development.
As the U.S. carbon capture industry has grown, so too has misinformation about its process, infrastructure, and use. Here at the Capture Action Project (CAP) we are focused on demystifying carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS), correcting inaccuracies, and providing much-needed context for how these technologies are being leveraged to make our domestic industries more sustainable.
So, what is CCUS? Simply put, CCUS is a three-part process by which CO2 is separated out from other gases produced during industrial processes, transported, and then either permanently stored underground or re-used in other industrial processes. Here is what you need to know:
- CCUS is good for our environment: CCUS can capture more than 90% of the CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities. In fact, it is one of the few solutions available that tackle emissions from heavy industries like fuels and chemical manufacturing and cement and steel production. By leveraging CCUS, we can achieve 14% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions needed by 2050 to combat climate change.
- If we are serious about reducing our carbon footprint, then we need CCUS now: According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 750 million tons of CO2 need to be captured globally to establish an energy system that meets our climate goals and still provides energy access to the world’s population. CCUS isn’t the only solution, we do need to leverage every energy source and technology available to us in order to meet this objective. CCUS can work alongside zero-emissions resources like renewables and nuclear to ensure that we are reducing our carbon emissions quickly and effectively.
- CCUS lets the U.S. serve as a good neighbor: Combatting climate change isn’t just about us. It requires a concerted global effort that will rely on collaboration and partnerships. Not all countries have enough renewable resources to power their economies. Leveraging CCUS technologies represents a clean, affordable energy supply for those nations. By demonstrating carbon capture leadership, the U.S. can continue serving as a strong partner to our allies through energy and technology trade and cooperation as the global energy landscape evolves.
- CCUS is safe: CCUS technology and infrastructure has a strong and measurable track record for safety. In fact, the U.S. has been effectively deploying carbon capture for 50 years. CO2 has been stored in deep saline aquifers since 1996 with zero incident, and today there are over 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines safely operating across the United States.
- CCUS supports a strong clean energy economy: The U.S. energy industry is a huge economic engine, and traditional energy represents its driving force. As we transition to a low- and zero-carbon future, it’s crucial that employment and investment keep pace. According to the DOE, a domestic carbon capture market will create hundreds of thousands of direct jobs and nearly 2 million indirect jobs, all of which are reliable, high-paying positions in a desirable, sustainable sector. For states where these technologies are being leveraged, CCUS signifies billions of dollars of new investment.
Simply put, a sustainable future involves carbon capture. Follow along here at CAP where we’ll be sharing, fact-checking, and offering context on the latest news and reports on CCUS.