31 mei 2023

ConsenCUS presents its first policy considerations on CCUS 

This week consortium partner Energy Policy Group (EPG) released a policy paper discussing the preliminary outcomes of the EU Horizon2020-project ConsenCUS. The paper sets out a number of policy considerations regarding CCUS deployment in the EU, arising from the project’s findings so far.  

The EU has set a clear target to become climate neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Technologies to capture carbon emissions and store or reuse them (CCUS) are gaining momentum and can play an important role in reaching the net-zero emission targets of the EU.  Industrial sectors will be affected by the transition to climate neutrality and in particular for hard-to-abate sectors, such as the oil refining, cement and magnesite industries, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) will play a crucial role.

The ConsenCUS project consortium is developing an innovative approach for electricity-based capture and conversion of CO2, and providing advice to businesses and policymakers on how to apply these technologies in key industries in the EU.  

New policy considerations  

This first policy paper highlights seven policy considerations and recommendations based on the findings of the ConsenCUS project. These go beyond the well-known challenges for CCUS deployment (such as the lacking regulatory framework, high costs, and suboptimal stakeholder coordination).

Full recommendations can be found in the paper, but briefly: 

  • The resource and energy use associated with different CO2 capture and conversion processes is different, and therefore should be a key criterion for both policy and permitting. 
  • CCUS pathways (including sub-surface usage) must be fit for eventual operation in a net-zero world.  
  • Any impact assessment of CCUS strategies should include scope 2 and 3 emissions from the entire CCUS chain. 
  • The CCUS technology pipeline must include multiple scalable, modular capture technologies given the variety of emitters and industries where CCUS will play a role in decarbonization.  
  • Shared CO2 transport and storage infrastructure must be subject to rigorous standards and models for sharing liability from CO2 sources and end-users connected to the infrastructure.  
  • Member States should be mandated to set out a comprehensive strategy and funding framework for R&D, innovation, and deployment of CCUS, fostering innovation and learning-by-doing
  • The involvement of local communities and stakeholders, including through capability-building activities, should be a key requirement of CCUS projects.  

As CCUS policy gains momentum in the EU, it is important for policy makers to consider all aspects of the CCUS chain and learn from research and innovation projects such as ConsenCUS.  

About ConsenCUS 

ConsenCUS is a 4-year international Innovation Action under the Horizon 2020 framework of the EU, under grant agreement No 101022484. It is performed by 19 consortium partners from 7 EU countries. It investigates how electrochemically driven carbon capture and conversion innovations can combine with safe transport and/or storage through economically viable networks and clusters, with specific attention for the interaction of local communities with the technological developments. The project is half way through the 4-year period. The demonstration campaign of the mobile pilot plant will start at the end of 2023. Ongoing research will support the demonstration and value chain aspects of this innovative CCUS approach. ConsenCUS aims to provide a set of final policy recommendations in 2025. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Union. Neither CINEA nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.  

The consortium consists of:

University of Groningen, New Energy Coalition, Wetsus, Coval Energy (NL), Technical University of Denmark, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Danish Gas Technology Centre, Aalborg Portland(DK), Heriot-Watt University, Robert Gordon University, OGTC Ltd, British Geological Survey (UK), Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Grecian Magnesite (GR), OMV Petrom, Energy Policy Group (RO), Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (CN) and University of Calgary (CA).