These days I try to focus my #energytwitter contributions on the huge opportunity of making Australia a #renewable superpower. But given the focus on CCS this week, I can't stop myself from sharing a few important facts...
1. CCS is not a new technology - the first project started in 1972. Despite this almost 50 year history there are only 19 operating CCS projects around the world.
2. Over half of the currently operating CCS projects are used to extract more fossil fuels, creating more climate pollution. The process is called "enhanced oil recovery", where captured CO2 is pumped into oil fields to essentially push out more oil.
3. No operating CCS project comes even close to capturing all of the carbon pollution (be it CO2 or methane) released, be it from a gas field like Gorgan, a coal or gas power plant, a gas hydrogen facility or an oil field.
For example when you include Scope 3 emissions, the Gorgan CCS project in WA will capture only 3.3% of the emissions generated from extracting, refining, transporting and burning the gas from the field.
Carbon capture and use may have niche applications, particularly in the decarbonisation of some industrial processes like cement. But for the most part it is a distraction from powering our electricity and industrial sectors with cheap, zero emissions, reliable renewables.
In case your interested, most of this analysis is based on data from the Global CCS Institute - https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/