Meeting global targets for climate change mitigation is one of the biggest challenges of our time. To prevent global warming from deteriorating while realizing sustainable economic growth is a challenge for most sectors. But it is particularly difficult for carbon-intensive industries such as oil and gas, heavy industry, and shipping.
These heavy emitters need to adopt radical CO2 reduction solutions and quickly, given that the Paris Agreement’s 2050 emissions target deadline – supported by national net-zero emissions targets and the International Maritime Organization’s goal of halving shipping emissions – is moving closer.
The IEA has suggested several options, including switching fuel to renewables, improving energy efficiency, or deploying Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
In selecting new technologies, carbon-intensive industries must ensure that whatever choices they make will help them reach these targets within the next 30 years.
For sectors that cannot be electrified easily or which cannot reduce emissions by being more energy-efficient, one of the most promising solutions is CCS.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has suggested that it will be difficult to keep the rise in temperatures within the 2% set out by the Paris Agreement unless industry around the globe invests in CCS.
The IEA has also shown that CCS could be responsible for around 14% of the cumulative carbon reduction to 2060 required to keep emissions within the 2°C Scenario.
Establishing the CCS Value Chain
These statistics underline that widespread implementation of CCS for carbon-intensive industries such as natural gas mining, thermal power generation, steelmaking, and chemical production industries is crucial to our ability to limit the effects of climate change.
However, some distinct obstacles need to be overcome. A report published by IPCC outlines that the main issues for its widespread deployment are technical maturity, costs, environmental issues, and public perception.
Once captured from the exhaust gases of a power plant or factory, CO2 is compressed and liquefied, reducing its volume to approximately 0.2% of its original gaseous volume.
Then, the CO2 is stored temporarily on-site and transferred by ship and pipeline to a long-term storage facility, or to where it will be utilized. The transport method depends on the location and distance between the place of capture and the location of the storage or end-use facility.
The complexity and cost of developing such processes and infrastructure is the main barrier to widespread adoption of CCS. To install CCS, carbon-intensive industries inevitably need to optimize the whole CCS value chain and its cost, ensuring that they can process emitted CO2 with high and stable efficiency.
Optimizing ROI Is Crucial for Widespread Adoption
For developers of CCS projects and technologies, reducing the total cost and maximizing ROI for the plant operator will, therefore, be fundmanetal to driving greater take-up of CCS around the world.
To optimize the performance in the entire CCS value chain effectively, reducing the costs of sequestration, capture, and transportation is critical as they make up more than half of the overall cost.
Compared to a standalone deployment of CCS, combining it with an application that makes use of the sequestered CO2 will also contribute to cost reductions. By setting off investments in CCS against revenues from the onward usage of CO2, for example for EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery), the total cost of ownership can be lowered (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage).
- POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED
- Rolling out CCS and its associated value chain is essential to preventing climate change
- ROI optimization is critical to nurture widespread adoption of CCS across industries
- Reducing the total cost of ownership of CCS solutions