The European Commission will table a communication on a strategic vision for carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) in 2023, the EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said on Oct. 27. She spoke at the CCUS Forum in Oslo, Norway.
According to European Commission modeling, the EU will have to capture and utilize or store 300 to 640 million metric tons of CO2 per year by 2050 to meet net zero goals.
The strategic vision for CCUS will include quantifying the role of storage and utilization in decarbonization, clarifying the rules surrounding carbon infrastructure, involving the industry, and giving certainty to investors, Simson said.
The EU is currently not making the best out of CCUS as an opportunity, she said, mainly because of issues related to funding, infrastructure and regulation.
“The scarcity of funding means no matter what good ideas are in place, without the right capital they won’t get off the ground,” Simson said. “At the same time, we can’t forget that CCUS is not just one innovation but a family of technologies. And those technologies are still in development. This is why it is so important to have enough financial support for research, innovation and development.”
The EU chief of energy said she is glad to see investments in CCUS coming from several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Croatia, and Greece.
According to Simson, when it comes to infrastructure, CCUS is facing a “chicken and egg situation”, where there is no transport and storage infrastructure for CO2 but at the same time there is also no CO2 to deal with.
The EU has began work on a study to analyze and outline the carbon transport and storage infrastructure in 2030 and 2040, which will be published next year, the commissioner said.
The Comission has also initiated an analysis of the regulatory environment in the EU to identify blind spots and fill in the gaps that hold the market back, Simson said.
In the upcoming weeks, the Comission will propose a CO2 removals certification system to incentivise the industry.