Volume 1 Issue 4

From the Editor

The Urgency of CCS

By Holly Krutka

Holly KrutkaIt cannot and should not be ignored that the growth in fossil fuel usage has shown no signs of slowing. In several respects, coal is leading this charge. In most developing countries many power plants have been operating for less than a decade and are expected to continue to operate long into the future. The tension between meeting growth goals/supplying energy and addressing major environmental and health issues is being felt globally.

Cover Story

Carbon Capture and Storage Advancement Is Urgent: An Exclusive Interview with Brad Page, Head of the GCCSI

By Geoff Giordano

Cover StoryWith the release of its latest global status report in October, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) sees progress in CCS projects but says more work needs to be done to overcome policy barriers as well as demonstrate operational feasibility and present business cases for expanding the use of CCS. In an exclusive interview for Cornerstone, GCCSI chief Brad Page echoed key aspects of the report, “The Global Status of CCS: 2013.”

Special Coverage

COP19: The Cobblestone Road to Paris

By Wojciech Kość

EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard speaking to journalists outside the plenary after an agreement is reached on the loss and damage mechanism at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw.The 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Warsaw from 11–22 November. The President of the COP19 was Marcin Korolec, Poland’s Minister of Environment. Such COP meetings provide the opportunity for the Parties to collaboratively address climate change at the international level.

Review of the International Coal & Climate Summit

By Milton Catelin

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, gave a keynote speech calling for the coal industry to be part of the climate solution.The World Coal Association hosted the International Coal & Climate Summit (ICCS) at the Ministry of Economy in Warsaw on 18–19 November, an event attended by around 300 delegates, including policymakers, business leaders, development banks, NGOs, and media. The coal industry hosting a summit isn’t usually big news—our calendars are full of industry meetings—but the timing of this event provoked some controversy.

Voices

Keeping Coal Alive on the Canadian Prairies: Carbon Capture and Storage at Work in Saskatchewan

By Brad Wall

Saskatchewan wheat productionWhen you think of natural resources on the Canadian Prairies, the first thing that likely comes to mind is wheat. While you wouldn’t be incorrect, Saskatchewan’s resource lineup isn’t limited to that one Prairie staple. Although we’ve come a long way from our agrarian roots, it’s true that we still boast a strong agricultural economy. With more than 40% of the arable farm land in Canada, we are a leading exporter of wheat, barley, lentils, and mustard, among other things.

Beyond Roadmaps to Deployment: Ensuring CCS Is a Component of Mid-century CO2 Emissions Control

By Kurt Walzer, Pam Hardwicke, and John Thompson

Without CCS it is projected that CO2 emissions from power plants will double by 2050.If anything, fossil fuel use throughout the world is growing, not declining. The use of fossil fuel is not going away, and to pretend otherwise is simply to avoid the facts. Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity. Since the beginning of the 21st century, it has been one of the fastest-growing energy sources globally. While coal use in OECD countries remained flat over the last decade, coal use has grown exponentially in developing nations.

Energy Policy

Implications of EU ETS Reform Proposals

By Nicholas Newman

The EU ETS has the potential to be a global leader in the struggle to reduce CO2 emissions, if it can get back on track.Emitting CO2 is intended to be an expensive activity for the 12,000 or so companies, in over 30 countries, that are registered in the European Union’s Emission Trading System (EU ETS). Established in 2005, it is the world’s first large-scale international emissions trading system. The reduction in economic activity that followed the financial crisis of 2008 decreased demand for emissions certificates or allowances and prices fell to levels too low to give industry any incentive to reduce carbon emissions.

A Roadmap for the Advancement of Low-Emissions Coal Technologies

By Ben Yamagata

CURC and EPRI have developed a Roadmap to support CCUS development without federal financing.In the U.S., our vast, domestically secure supply of coal has fueled the American economic machine for many decades and our fleet of existing coal-fired power plants provides very inexpensive electricity. This means that U.S. industry has a competitive edge over manufacturers in other countries that do not have reliable, abundant, low-cost electricity generated from coal resources, and consumers are able to keep more of their income to spend on other expenses.

Strategic Analysis

CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery: The Enabling Technology for CO2 Capture and Storage

By Vello Kuuskraa and Phil DiPietro

Selling captured CO2 to enhance oil recovery can provide much needed income for first mover CCS projects.CO2 capture and storage (CCS) will enable coal use in a carbon-constrained world, but there has been insufficient progress in the CCS field to date, which begs the question: What is the enabling technology for CCS? The answer for first movers is CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). This article focuses on the mutual benefits of producing oil and storing CO2 using CO2-EOR.

China’s Policies for Addressing Climate Change and Efforts to Develop CCUS Technology

By Ren Xiangkun, Zhang Dongjie, and Zhang Jun

International collaborative efforts, such as technology transfer (for example, the meeting shown above between Chinese and Japanese researchers) and jointly sponsored projects, are critical to accelerating the development and deployment of CCUS.China is one of the largest energy-producing and -consuming countries in the world. Coal has historically been the country’s dominant source of primary energy, which has resulted in high CO2 emissions. Due to the unique potential to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions from large, centralized fossil energy consumption sources, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology is attracting global attention.

Technology Frontiers

Overview of Oxy-fuel Combustion Technology for CO2 Capture

By Ligang Zheng and Yewen Tan

The major aspects of oxy-fuel combustion, such as air separation, have been available commercially for years.The urgency of developing, demonstrating, and deploying CCS technologies is supported by the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis”. Coal is the dominant fuel for electricity production and is responsible for generating about 40% of electricity in the world. Also, out of the cumulative CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, coal was responsible for 43%.

Alstom’s CCS Technologies

By Magnus Mörtberg

The Chilled Ammonia Process, currently being tested at the Technology Center Mongstad, Norway, is one of many CO2 capture technologies being developed by Alstom.Alstom has developed a comprehensive portfolio of power generation technologies, which allow its customers to generate reliable, environmentally friendly electricity. Currently, one of the greatest challenges to the power sector is reducing the associated greenhouse gas emissions; power generation is one of the biggest sources of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas.

Shenhua Group’s Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration

By Wu Xiuzhang

The Shenhua CCS demonstration project, located in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, is China’s first deep saline aquifer storage project with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes CO2/yr.The Chinese government places great importance on the issues of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. On the eve of the 2009 Copenhagen conference, the government of China put forth a target of reducing CO2 emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40–45% compared to 2005. In the “Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China”, China stated its plan to “significantly reduce the intensity of energy consumption and the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions, effectively controlling greenhouse gas emissions.”

Society & Culture

Overcoming Opposition to CCS through Developer–Community Collaboration

By Peta Ashworth

Advancing CCS projects requires effective collaboration with the local community.With the release of the Fifth Report from the Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change, the need to contain global greenhouse gas emissions has never been more apparent. However, across the world a concerted approach toward mitigating these emissions is less than evident. Although individual governments are implementing a range of strategies to try to achieve an emissions reduction, it has become apparent that the scale and rate of progress mean that the chances of limiting climate change to 2°C are almost impossible.