Can CCS and NET enable the continued use of fossil carbon fuels after CoP21?

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Abstract

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) does not generate energy. CCS applied to fossil and modern bio-carbon fuels and feedstocks removes environmentally damaging CO2 emissions. CoP21 stipulated a maximum 2°C–1.5°C global warming from 2050 in perpetuity. Both CCS and negative emission technology (NET) are now required to manage the carbon stock in earth’s atmosphere and oceans. All components of CCS are operationally proven secure at the industrial scale. Fifteen CCS projects operate globally; seven are under construction. CCS systems increase electricity prices, to about £100/MWhr. CCS on industry is cheaper and storage costs minimal (£5–20/tonne). CCS reduces whole economy costs of carbon transition by 2.5 times. Policies of capex subsidy, oversupplied emissions certificates, weak carbon pricing, and weak emissions standards have all failed to develop large cost CCS mega-projects. New carbon certificates could link the extraction of carbon to an obligation to store a percentage of emissions. Certificates connect CCS and NET pathways to secure carbon storage for the public good.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-322
JournalOxford Review of Economic Policy
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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