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Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), sometimes called carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), prevents large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The technology involves capturing CO2 produced by large industrial plants, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep into a rock formation at a carefully selected and secure site, where it is permanently stored. In order to constrain CO2 emissions to levels consistent with a less than 2°C rise in global temperatures, modelling by the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that CCS will need to contribute about 14% of the cumulative emissions reductions required through 2050 compared to a ‘business-as-usual’ approach. A power generating unit equipped with CCS could reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by approximately 80–90% compared to a plant without CCS. CCS can play an important role in a least-cost approach to climate change mitigation.

CCS system technology is increasingly being deployed around the world. The world’s first large-scale CCS project in the power sector commenced operations in October 2014 at the Boundary Dam power station in Saskatchewan, Canada. Two additional large-scale CCS projects in the power sector – at the Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi and the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project in Texas – are planned to come into operation in 2016.

Carbon capture and storage, a key to climate change mitigation: with over 60% of electricity generation of UNECE’s 56 member states coming from fossil fuels, CCS is essential to reach climate goals. Article by Scott Foster, Director, UNECE Sustainable Energy L’AEGFI Commodities Special Edition 2015 (page 16)