Urgent action is needed to reduce uncertainty about


An urgent increase in political support and investment for carbon capture and storage (CCS) is needed to meet the Paris climate goals, according to researchers at Princeton University and the University of Queensland. The researchers said the investment should be geared to understand how quickly CO2 can be injected and stored underground at local / regional level.

Lead author of the study, Joe Lane, former postdoctoral research associate at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, said CCS is seen as a key technology for reducing emissions from the energy sector. and industry and to achieve negative emissions when combined with bioenergy or direct air. capture of carbon dioxide.

“Most deep decarbonization scenarios of the global economy rely on full scale CCS to be Paris Agreement compliant – from three to over 20 gigatonnes of CO2 per year being captured and stored, worldwide by 2050, ”Lane said. “Currently, about 0.04 gigatons of CO2 are captured and injected underground each year.

Co-author Prof Andrew Garnett, director of the UQ Natural Gas Center, said more information is needed globally to support such high expectations and that even lower goals involve a pace. and an extremely difficult scale of CCS deployment in all major economies. According to Garnett, these scenarios generally assume that there is more than enough storage volume available in porous geological reservoirs around the world, but more important than the available storage in volume is the rate at which CO2 can be injected safely and permanently contained.

Co-author Chris Greig, Theodora D. ’78 & William H. Walton III ’74 Senior Scientist at the Princeton Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, said storage uncertainty creates a problem “of the chicken and the egg ”for the ambitions of the CSC. “The characterization work required to build confidence in storage capacity at these scales hinges on the mobilization of tens of billions of dollars of venture capital over the next decade,” said Greig.

Currently, these characterization capabilities are located in the oil and gas sector. He said for the necessary investment to occur, storage developers need to be sure that capture projects will actually be built before entering into long-term storage contracts.

“At the same time, investors will remain cautious until they are convinced that profitable storage capacity will be available,” said Greig.

Lane said strategic planning is needed now if carbon dioxide storage is to play a major role in decarbonizing critical industries and the developing world.

The study is published in Nature Climate Change (DOI 10.1038 / s41558-021-01175-7).

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