A broad portfolio of technologies is required to achieve deep emissions reductions. Energy efficiency and renewables are central players, but other technologies and strategies have a major role in achieving these goals as well.
In its recently published report, the IEA listed four critical ways in which CCUS can contribute to a successful clean energy transition:1IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive
- CCUS can be retrofitted to power and industrial plants that may otherwise still be emitting 8 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2050 – around one-quarter of today’s annual energy-sector emissions.
- CCUS can tackle emissions in sectors with limited other options, such as cement, steel and chemicals manufacturing, and in the production of synthetic fuels for long-distance transport.
- CCUS enables the production of low-carbon hydrogen from fossil fuels, a least-cost option in several regions around the world.
- CCUS can remove CO2 from the atmosphere by combining it with bioenergy or direct air capture to balance emissions that are unavoidable or technically difficult to avoid.
Limiting the availability of CCUS would considerably increase the cost and complexity of the energy transition by increasing reliance on technologies that are currently more expensive and at earlier stages of development.2IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive