News overview

Disclosing CCS Barriers

4 December 2014

Assessing the interrelation among important barrier for deploying CCS
By Juliana Sara da Silva (TU Delft)

What are the main barriers for the deployment of CCS projects in the Port of Rotterdam? What is more important: CO2 price, political support, public acceptance or maybe financial incentives? How can they be described in terms of interdependencies and relative influences? Is there a common opinion or do organizations perceive these barriers differently?

Different barriers may affect the deployment of CCS initiatives in the Port of Rotterdam and around the world, which may lead to postponement or even cancellation of some projects. They are connected directly or indirectly and may have different reasons: economic, technological, regulatory, social, legal, environmental. Each of them with different influence, importance and impact on the project. Understanding key barriers is fundamental for designing strategies, allocating resources more efficiently and for choosing appropriate management approaches and methods. Knowing which barriers should be addressed first can be a great opportunity for improving the results of a project.

An Intricate Relation

Besides many barriers for CCS deployment might be well-known, it is not very clear the intricate relation between them: how important are some barriers in relation to others? How do they influence each other? How favorable or unfavorable are their current situations? Are there differences or similarities among the perceptions of different organizations involved in CCS?

To answer these questions, an online questionnaire was designed. It is part of a PhD research at the Delft University of Technology, (TUDelft) in the Netherlands and involved CCS experts from different types of organizations. The survey assessed important barriers that were previously identified via literature review: "liability of CO2 storage" (LiSt), "financial incentives" (FiIn), "CO2 price" (CO2P), "public acceptance" (PuAc), "political support" (PoSu), "cooperation among actors" (CoAc) and "technological uncertainties" (TeUn). The results were grouped based on the types of the organization of the respondents: users of CO2 (including suppliers, carrier or consumer of CO2), public organizations, NGO's, academia and research institutes. This classification was chosen by the respondents during the survey. Also, a total result combining all the valid responses was computed.

Revealing the intricate relation

The results of the survey showed that the different types of organizations analyzed perceive the economic barriers ("financial incentives" and "CO2 price") as the most important barriers for deploying CCS (Figure. 1). Therefore, they should be considered priorities for investments. Together, they represent more than 55% of the rankings. The only difference is that, for the research institute group, "financial incentives" is more important than "CO2 price"; however, the difference between them is less than 6%. In general, the two last positions are occupied by "cooperation among actors" and "technological uncertainties". However, for academia, "public acceptance" also received very low percentage; therefore not being perceived as a problem for deploying CCS projects. In general, the barriers in the third, fourth and fifth positions ("liability of CO2 storage", "public acceptance" and "political support") received moderate and similar percentages, but still much lower than the two most important ones.


In relation to the influence that each barrier exerts on the others, the analysis of the survey concluded that all the barriers are highly interconnected. Figure 2 presents the results in a normalized form, with the most influential barrier receiving the score 1. Barriers with positive values are considered dispatchers: they influence other barriers. Therefore, a change in these barriers impacts the others. The higher the score, the more influential is the barrier. On the other hand, barriers with negative values are called receivers: they are influenced by other barriers.

For all the types...

For all the types of organizations analyzed, "CO2 price" and "technological uncertainties" are the most influential barriers. On the other side, "cooperation among actors" is the most influenced one, followed by "political support". "Financial incentives" is also normally perceived as being influenced by the other barriers. The perceptions of the influences of "liability of CO2 storage" and "public acceptance" vary. Some groups perceive these barriers as dispatchers (influence other barriers); while for others they are receivers (are influenced by other barriers).

The survey also assessed the perception about the current situation of each barrier (Figure 3). When considering all the responses together, once they were very similar, it could be observed that the current situation of the most important barriers is very unfavorable. For "CO2 price", 94.4% of the responses considered it as being in highly unfavorable or unfavorable situation, while the remaining 5.6% considered it only as neutral. For "financial incentives", 83.3% of the responses considered the situation as being highly unfavorable or unfavorable, while 11.1% and 5.6% considered it in a neutral and favorable situation, respectively. "Public acceptance" is also not perceived in a very good position: 50% of the respondents think that this barrier is in a highly unfavorable or unfavorable situation and only 5.6% believes that it is in a favorable position. On the other side, "technological uncertainties" and "cooperation among actors" received the most positive scores: respectively 50% and 38.9% of the respondents considered these two barriers in a favorable or highly favorable situation. Even with the situation of other barriers being more favorable, which can positively influence "financial incentives" for example, improving the conditions for a proper deployment of the CCS project can be quite challenging.

Economic barriers: similar importance, different strategy approaches

Besides the two economic barriers were considered the most important ones, the analysis of their mutual influence with other barriers reveal that decision-makers need different types of strategy approaches to improve them. "CO2 price" is a very influential barrier; therefore strategies should be designed that directly influence it. "Financial incentives", on the other hand, is influenced by other barriers. In this sense, strategies should be created to influence other barriers that will, indirectly, have impact on it. According to respondents' perceptions, improving political support and the price of CO2 as well as reducing technological uncertainties can enhance the achievement of financial incentive goals.

Public acceptance: a real barrier?

An interesting observation is that "public acceptance" was perceived as having low importance and low influence. However, according to an open question in the survey, this "public acceptance" was mentioned by more than 30% of the respondents as one of the main barriers faced by CCS. These apparently contradictory results may indicate that, besides this barrier (and probably the other barriers analyzed) is relevant, the economic factors are predominantly more important than the others.

Common vision among the different types of organizations: a good start

The different groups of organizations analyzed had, in overall, similar points-of-view, which is very important for defining common strategies to overcome CCS barriers. Different opinions can lead to a very long and costly decision-making process. A common vision is a good start for creating consensus and for defining collective actions that will effectively overcome the difficult barriers that CCS initiatives are facing today.

For any further information, please contact the PhD candidate responsible for this survey: Juliana Sara da Silva.

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