An Environmental Approach
Edited by Francesc Morata and Israel Solorio Sandoval
Chapter 5: Carbon Capture and Storage: The Europeanization of a Technology in Europe’s Energy Policy?
Severin Fischer1 5.1 INTRODUCTION Within a comparatively short time, carbon capture and storage (CCS) has become a topic of enthusiastic and heated discussion among scientists, policymakers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the European Union (EU) and its member states. While little is in fact known about the practical use of this technology and the system surrounding it, most of the actors have already taken a normative decision on its further deployment. In general, the idea behind using CCS is surprisingly simple: by capturing the harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) before or during the fuel combustion process, transporting them to a storage site and then storing the emissions underground, either in empty natural-gas fields or in saline geological layers, the high-carbon combustion technologies of today can become part of the low-carbontechnologies and clean development options of tomorrow. While no largescale CCS demonstration project has been finalized in the EU to date, its integration into national and European energy policies is already an impressive achievement in itself. This success story was driven by a few strategic considerations: in 2006, around 81 percent of European energy consumption derived from carbonintensive fossil fuels, such as hard coal, lignite, oil or natural gas (Eurostat, 2009). Meanwhile, the EU will be asked to reduce its 1990 emissions level by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 in order to remain within a global 2 °C scenario, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations (IPCC, 2007). By comparing both figures, the challenge on the climate front...
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