The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently established a database for tracking carbon capture’s progress across the globe. It covers all carbon capture, transport, storage, and utilization efforts commissioned since the 1970s with a “clear emissions reduction scope” and an announced capacity of more than 100,000 tons per year.
The database is based on input from entities spanning the public and private sectors around the world, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the Global CCS Institute.
There are two main takeaways from this. The first is that investment in carbon capture is growing, which is obviously a good thing! But to put that growth in context, in 2022 alone, 140 new projects were announced, increasing planned storage capacity by 80 percent and capture capacity by 30 percent. Likewise, seven new countries announced carbon capture projects last year, meaning there is ongoing CCUS development in 45 countries.
The second is that this growth underscores the need for the United States to focus on the development of its domestic carbon capture industry. Our position as a global energy leader enhances our national security, strengthens our economy, and is a force for good on the geopolitical stage. As our economy transitions towards low- or zero-carbon, it’s paramount that we are investing in clean energy and technologies like carbon capture.
IEA recently published an article on how the global carbon capture market is evolving. It’s worth a read, but below is a quick rundown of their four key takeaways:
Carbon Capture Infrastructure is Growing
What does this mean? In order for carbon capture to be deployed effectively–and to help us actually decarbonize–we need infrastructure, including storage capacity. Since 2021, governments around the world have committed over $6 billion in carbon transport and storage infrastructure.
Specialized Carbon Capture Projects are on the Rise
What does this mean? Traditional carbon capture projects have been modeled one operator is transporting captured carbon to an injection site. Today, we are seeing more and more projects focused on facet of the supply chain. This allows more companies to get involved and eases the financial burden and regulatory hurdles of getting carbon capture off the ground and operational.
CCUS Hubs are Incentivizing the Market
What does this mean? The hub model also helps facilitate making carbon capture affordable and deployable. It also encourages broader participation by ensuring that there’s existing infrastructure and support for companies looking to decarbonize. (And if you’re unfamiliar with what a “hub model” is, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – keep an eye out for an upcoming CAP blog post breaking this down.)
Our Policies Need to Keep Pace
What does this mean? Our energy landscape is changing, and so is the use and outlook for carbon capture. As such, our policies need to be solution-oriented and focused on incentivizing accessibility. It also means providing regulatory certainty so that the private sector can invest and operate on sure footing.