On 20 June, our Director for CCS Europe Chris Davies attended the CCS Strategy Europe Conference in London, UK.  across Europe.

While he also spoke at the Decarb Connect 2024 in Berlin earlier in the week, both events touched on the current rollout of CCS projects in Europe. We need hundreds of projects if we are to achieve the European Commission’s target of capturing 280 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2040.

There have been plenty of very promising CCS projects in the past that have never reached the starting line let alone crossed it. And within the European Union there are only seven capture plants actually under construction (all of them in Denmark and the Netherlands) with not one new Final Investment Decisions (FID) announced so far this year. Yet it cannot be denied that progress is being made: 14 months ago not one FID had been taken.
Interest is growing as never before, with Germany, France and Italy all saying that CCS will play a part in their industrial decarbonisation strategies even if they have yet to announce what financial support will be made available.

The means of achieving widespread deployment of the technology are being put into place. During the Conference, Andy Cox, of specialist insurers Howden Group, made clear that insurance packages could help desrisk project developers at every stage of the process are now becoming available. Aymeric Chauveau, of investment bank Natixis, revealed that the banking sector saw great opportunities in the realisation of the CCS potential and was keen to meet with developers. Finally, Mark Driessen, of Porthos, explained how the pipeline now under construction is already starting to turn Rotterdam into a carbon capture hub, the first CCS industrial cluster in the world.

So there is plenty to positivity but it requires engagement with policymakers if it is to take practical shape. No CCS project can hope to succeed unless it has strong support from its national government, and politicians who know nothing of CCS have to be convinced if this is to be given. CCS Europe has no doubt that the technology has a major role to play in climate policy, and this conviction can be traced back to a single conversation since 2007.
Sometimes one conversation is all it takes to win the support of a policymaker, but we have to take the initiative if that conversation is to take place.

CCS Europe will be happy to provide advice and guidance about how to make it happen.