European Union De-Carbonization Strategies: What role for the Carbon Capture & Storage?

The recent study “World Energy trilemma 2012: Time to get real – the case for Sustainable Energy Policy” presented by the World Energy Council at the XVIII Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC, has shown that energy-environmental policies successfully adopted at an international level are characterized by important common guidelines: an approach to long-term stability, a predictable regulatory framework and its compliance with the regulatory process, ability to unleash the market forces and strong support to research and development. The formulation and, above all, the implementation of policies based on these guidelines will help governments to decisively move towards a more sustainable energy system.

In the last decade, energy de-carbonization policies have always considered the development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), as one of the main option for large industrial and energy production plants, both of new and existing park sites.

The comparison between development strategies of CCS projects in the extra-EU countries and the EU Member States, points out different approaches to the management of CO2: a by-product to be used for the development of energy resources (enhanced oil recovery, enhanced coal bed methane, enhanced shale gas) or a waste to be stored in geological repositories.

Technical and economical issues related to the high costs of CO2 separation and capture, energy penalties and the recent weakening of policies in support to CCS, are among the main causes of penalization of the “CO2  as a waste” approach, in favor of the “enhanced recovery” approach which can benefit from the better recovery of fossil resources.

Therefore EU is now called upon a strategic policy review for CCS, standing now at a crossroads between the  strengthening of support to  research and development,  on the one hand, and the  pursuit of a substantial pragmatism, on the other.

Starting from this framework and the EU de-carbonization policies and strategies, the meeting aims to debate the real prospects and the future role of CO2 capture and Storage (CCS) with institutions, associations and companies operating in the Italian energy sector.

Location: Centro Studi Americani – Rome