The Netherlands leads the way to large-scale CCS deployment18 July 2011
Klaas van Alphen, currently senior advisor for the Global CCS Institute, has shown in his thesis on behalf of CATO that despite the difficulties encountered in the transitional period between R&D and commercialization of CO2 capture and storage (CCS), the development and demonstration of CCS is not slowing down, but rapidly increasing across the globe.
Klaas van Alphen performed a comparative analysis with regard to CCS developments in the United States, Canada, Norway, Australia and the Netherlands using an innovation systems perspective. This analysis provides an important opportunity to learn from experiences cross-country and to develop strategies that could accelerate the deployment of CCS.
Challenges not uniqueThe challenges currently faced by CCS project developers, which are discussed in great detail in the thesis, are not unique to the Netherlands. For example, answers to long-term liability issues for the stored CO2 might be found in Australia. In similar fashion the "Dutch Approach" with regard to storage site characterization work or the development of a common user CO2 infrastructure can be leading example for other countries. This is especially relevant for some existing projects in which the risks and unknowns about the storage sink have not been addressed early enough in the planning process and it is leading to inefficiencies in project timing and greater project risks.
Leading countriesA recent report published by the Global CCS Institute on the global status of CCS confirmed that the Netherlands is still amongst the leading countries as it comes to the development of CCS. This concerns in the first place the number of large-scale integrated CCS projects that are currently under development; with the ROAD project being one of the first CCS projects in the power sector to reach a final investment decision. Secondly, the Netherlands is leading in terms of the relative amount of funding available for CCS demonstration and advancements made with regards to CCS regulation. Moreover, the ‘demand driven' CATO programme features as a prime example in this report as how one could organise an effective knowledge sharing network. Finally, the lessons learned from Barendrecht have helped a number of projects around the globe in their public engagement strategy in order to obtain a ‘social license to operate'. This shows that it is useful to make lessons learnt from real projects available across other countries.
Biggest challengeUltimately, the development of hands-on CCS knowledge and expertise should accelerate the commercial deployment of CCS projects worldwide. Sharing know-how, experience and lessons learnt from the CCS demonstration activities as efficiently as possible across a wide range of stakeholders will be the biggest challenge in bringing forward the point in time that CCS is deployed on a large scale. It is therefore paramount that the existing CCS demonstration projects have strong linkages in (inter)national R&D programmes (like CATO) and that they share their lessons learnt with the global CCS community.
Dr. Klaas van Alphen works as a Senior Advisor for the Global CCS Institute in Canberra, Australia since October 2009. Before joining the Institute, Klaas has been involved in CCS research for nearly 5 years in the CATO programme.
This message is part of the CATO-2 Newsletter June 2011. The complete newsletter can be found here.
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