Transitions to a Sustainable Future
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Valentina Bosetti, Reyer Gerlagh and Stefan P. Schleicher
Chapter 8: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Supporting Sustainable Energy
Systems Bob van der Zwaan 8.1 INTRODUCTION Today, overwhelming evidence exists that mankind’s energy use is provoking an increase of the average global atmospheric temperature and the associated detrimental effects of regional and local climate change (IPCC, 2001, 2007). In order to minimise the risks induced by substantial climate change, carbon dioxide concentrations should be stabilised, preferably during the 21st century and probably at a level not exceeding more than twice the pre-industrial level (see for example UNFCCC, 1992; IPCC, 1996, 2001, 2007). Therefore, emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, should be reduced substantially below the levels that would be implied by a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. This challenge, however large, can be met. Many different measures will need to be exploited simultaneously to deviate significantly from the expected business-as-usual carbon dioxide emissions scenario. Predominant among these is decreasing the intensity of these emissions per unit of energy consumption. Whatever specific means may contribute to alleviating the problem of global climate change, decreasing the overall carbon intensity of energy consumption is indispensable. Clearly no single silver bullet or panacea exists for this ‘decarbonisation’ conundrum. Hence, it seems prudent to let as many non-carbon dioxide emitting technologies as possible, for the moment at least, contribute to decarbonising our energy system and be part of a widely diversified energy mix. The set of employed energy options could include both conventional and more advanced technologies, and cover diverse options from hydropower and renewables to nuclear energy and decarbonised fossil fuels (see for...
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