A coalition bringing together industry leaders, environmental advocates, and policymakers is urging the European Union to include Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies in the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) as strategic net-zero technologies.
The collective statement, endorsed by organizations including the Methanol Institute, Eurofer, the Renewable Carbon Initiative, and FuelsEurope, emphasized the crucial role that CCU technologies play in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing the production of renewable fuels.
NZIA should recognize CCU’s strategic importance in achieving net zero targets, considering recent legislations and EU funding schemes have already acknowledged its relevance, the letter said. In the EU Innovation Fund’s third call for large-scale projects in July 2023, out of the 41 projects chosen, a minimum of 10 projects centered around CCU, the statement also said. These technologies will support both the EU’s hydrogen targets and the replacement of fossil-based goods.
The Net Zero Industry Act makes a distinction between “net-zero technologies” and “strategic net-zero technologies.” National authorities prioritize strategic net-zero technologies, streamlining permitting processes, public procurement, and financial access. Furthermore, these technologies benefit from the backing of an ambitious 40% annual manufacturing target within the European Union.
The European Commission employs the following criteria to identify strategic net-zero technologies:
- Technology Readiness Level (TRL): This assesses commercial readiness and scalability, with a minimum requirement of TRL 8.
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reduction: This considers their role in reducing GHG emissions.
- Economic Resilience: Evaluating their overall impact on the EU economy’s resilience.
According to the co-signatories, the inclusion of CCU technologies and CCS in the NZIA is considered essential to enable substantial emissions reduction, maintain and strengthen Europe’s skilled technical workforce, ensure investment certainty, and align with legislative priorities as outlined in the recent Fit for 55 legislation, fostering synergy in climate and energy ambitions.