2023 - Progress of sorts on CCS
Today there are said in Europe to be close on 100 CCS projects being worked up, but let's inject some reality into that figure. How many final investment decisions (FID) have been taken to proceed with an EU-based full-chain scheme since the CO2 Storage Directive became law in 2009?
2009 - 0
2010 - 0
2011 - 0
2012 - 0
2013 - 0
2014 - 0
2015 - 0
2016 - 0
2017 - 0
2018 - 0
2019 - 0
2020 - 0
2021 - 0
2022 - 0
2023 - 1
It was a long time coming but 31 May 2023 saw the very first FID taken, with Orsted's decision to proceed with the Kalundborg Hub project in Denmark, intending to capture 430,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Of course this doesn't take account of the Porthos transport and storage project which will unlock the door to a number of Rotterdam capture schemes, and it excludes the Brevik cement plant in Norway, which is in the EEA but not the EU.
Please do provide a correction if a FID has been taken that gains no mention here, but it is clear that while a good number of CCS projects are at a very advanced stage of planning the gun has not yet been fired to set them off running.
And by some accounts, the EU will need 700 or so Kalundborg projects within the next 25 years if climate policy requirements are to be met. Without CCS the net-zero ambition will not be met.
2024 - Could start well
Heildelberg Materials has announced that 1 January 2024 will mark the official launch of the Geseke project with the aim of making the plant the first in Germany to capture CO2 and produce net-zero cement. It will benefit from the support of €191 million from the EU Innovation Fund. It sounds like a FID has been taken and there is no stopping it, but is this the case?
Supporters of CCS deployment can afford no complacency. Progress is being made but the technology is not yet at a tipping point from which its use can be assured. This is the time to push hard. This is the time to persuade EU and national policymakers of the need to set targets and remove the obstacles.