Global CCS Grows Dramatically as Climate Ambition Drives Action
A report from the Global CCS Institute says North America’s continued front-runner status in carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment is largely attributable to tax credits, stronger climate commitments, and an anticipated rise in demand for low-carbon energy products.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is gathering momentum in the response to rising climate ambition, according to the Global CCS Institute’s (GCCSI) Global Status of CCS 2021 report. The report, released on 12 October, said the total capacity of the global CCS project pipeline has increased this year for the fourth year in a row, by almost one-third over the previous year. But is the momentum sufficient to achieve the capacity increase of operational facilities required to satisfy the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2050 climate goals?
Jarad Daniels, CEO of GCCSI, said the dramatic increase in the number of projects in development reinforces the critical role of CCS in reaching global climate goals within the short timeframe required. “CCS is absolutely critical to achieving net zero emissions, and we anticipate growth in the sector to continue as climate ambition is increasingly matched with action,” Daniels said in a news release announcing the 2021 report. “As we accelerate toward net zero emissions by mid-century and establish clearer interim targets, CCS will be integral to the decarbonization of energy and industrial sectors such as cement, fertilizers, and chemicals and will open new opportunities in areas including clean hydrogen and carbon dioxide removal.”
The report provides a snapshot of CCS progress around the world, which includes the following:
- Of the 135 commercial CCS facilities in the project pipeline, 27 are fully operating, four are under construction, and 102 are under development.
- 71 new CCS facilities were added to the project pipeline in 2021.
- As of September, the CO2 capture capacity of all CCS facilities under development has grown from 75 to 111 Mtpa—a 48% increase over 2020.
- North America continues to be the global front-runner in CCS deployment, with more than 40 new CCS projects announced in 2021. This can largely be attributed to CCS tax credits, stronger climate commitments—including the US rejoining the Paris Agreement—and anticipated rise in demand for low-carbon energy products.
- CCS projects are becoming increasingly diverse, with facilities in development in a broad range of sectors including power generation, liquefied natural gas, cement, steel, waste-to-energy, direct air capture and storage, and hydrogen production.
- Several new countries now have commercial CCS facilities under development, including Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, and Sweden.
- CCS networks—in which multiple emissions sources share transport and storage infrastructure—are increasingly becoming the dominant operating model, incorporating ever-larger volumes of CO2.
According to Guloren Turan, general manager of advocacy and communication for GCCSI, the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario foresees 15% of emissions reductions to come from CCS, which will require a 100-fold increase in the capacity of operational facilities by 2050. “While the acceleration of CCS adoption is promising, more urgency in the deployment of the technology is needed to reach 2050 climate goals,” Turan said.
The release of the 2021 CCS report comes ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where GCCSI will join other observer organizations and government leaders in Glasgow, Scotland, to assess progress on climate commitments and encourage greater ambition and action.