No more gaslighting: Let’s get real about carbon capture and storage
The energy debate must move on from comforting ‘net zero’ targets based on wishful thinking around CCS, or risk undermining the quest for solutions that might actually work.
Is anybody in the energy sector prepared to contemplate a decarbonised future without technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide emissions? If not, then how exactly are such installations going to be paid for? As wildfires, hurricanes and floods offer early signs of just how devastating runaway climate change could be, these are two question that need frank and urgent answers.
The concept of capturing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption and storing the climate-warming gas in underground reservoirs has fascinated industry and governments alike. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) presents the alluring promise that coal, oil and gas production can continue to expand while the world economy gradually decarbonises. It also throws a lifeline to carbon-intensive, hard-to-abate industries such as cement and steel production.
Construction of CCS projects has consistently fallen way short of the energy industry’s own targets. The International Energy Agency (IEA), one of the most inf…