Australian news, and some related international items

Carbon capture and storage – not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Carbon capture has been heralded by some as an important technological solution to the climate crisis.
The Ferret, 8 Nov 21

As COP26 continues in Glasgow, the potential impact of carbon capture and storage in reducing emissions is in the spotlight. 

Ferret Fact Service looked at how it works, and whether carbon capture is actually a viable solution…………

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, there are currently 26 large-scale carbon capture projects in use globally, with 34 more in different stages of development.

What are the drawbacks of carbon capture?

Some environmental campaigners have raised questions about the technology.

One issue is the slow progress in getting carbon capture facilities ready. While it has been trumpeted as one of the major tech solutions for the climate crisis, the amount of CO2 currently captured by CCS is small. 

Currently operating CCS facilities have the capacity to capture about 40 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The latest global figure for fossil fuel CO2 emissions (2020) was 34 billion tonnes

Many countries’ climate change plans rely heavily on carbon capture, but some analysts have questioned whether this is a realistic and effective use of environmental budgets that could be spent on renewable energy sources, for example. 

The cost of carbon capture development and getting CCS facilities to commercial levels has been criticised. 

Another issue is that most of the carbon capture projects won’t be in operation until the next decade. Scientists say significant carbon reductions are required this decade if the world is to reduce global temperature increase. 

Currently, much of the carbon captured is being used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). This is where oil companies use CO2 to obtain oil from previously unreachable reservoirs. Critics argue that this actually exacerbates overall climate change, as it allows more oil to be accessed which is then burned, adding to emissions, despite reducing carbon released during extraction.

There are also fears that carbon capture will be used as a way for countries with heavy fossil fuel production to continue to extract and sell them, which would hamper global attempts to reduce emissions. 

Fears have been raised of the potential danger of CO2 leaking from the underground areas it is stored, either gradually or suddenly………

November 11, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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