The capture and storage of industrial carbon dioxide can help Europe create a low-carbon economy by 2050, but a radical overhaul of Europe’s strategy is necessary say Science|Business symposium participants.
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Though CCS technologies are ready for large-scale demonstration, the European Commission’s plan to launch 12 major demonstration projects costing up to €16 billion by 2015 is largely stalled for lack of investment. Governments grappling with austerity budgets across Europe have not been willing to fund costly commercial demonstrations and industry does not view CCS as commercially viable in the absence of a significant CO2 emissions charge. Europe now risks a major delay in bringing CCS technologies to market, and the inability to tap CCS to hit its ambitious carbon reduction goals. On 27 April, Science|Business held the fourth in a series of high-level academic policy symposia focused on the energy innovation challenge, entitled Breaking the Deadlock – Getting Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies to Market. Leading energy experts from academia, business, the European Commission and Member State governments debated how Europe could regain lost momentum in developing a truly commercial market for CCS. The event looked at case studies in countries leading the drive to commercialise CCS – the UK, the Netherlands and Norway – and explored policy measures that would give industry the confidence to invest in the planned demonstration projects and beyond.