Greenhouse Gas - Bury it into Oblivion
Options and risks of CO2 capture and storage
The committee's preface
Over 80 % of Germany’s energy supply is based on fossil energy carriers, use of which releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Today, our economy has to import these crucial energy and raw material sources. Yet, fossil raw ma-terials as resources are finite and their availability is limited. To this must be added the fact that, according to the most recent UN climate study, today’s consumption of fossil raw materials is crucially responsible for climate-damaging CO2 emissions. Considered against this backdrop, the question must be asked as to how the capture of CO2 from power plants and industrial facilities and its storage in deep geological layers can help us achieve ambitious climate-protection targets.
It was for this reason that the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the Germany Bundestag took a decision in 2006 to instruct the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament (TAB) to address the subject of »CO2 Capture and Storage at Power Plants«. One aim was to survey the present state of knowledge and to identify critical knowledge gaps – e.g. as regards storage safety, costs, the availability of the technology. Another was to analyse the existing legal framework for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) in order to detect possible deficits and any need for legislative action.
The report highlights the fact that, both in the technology for capturing the CO2, and in its transportation to the storage site as well as its injection and permanent deposition in deep rock layers, there is still considerable need for research and development before the process is mature for commercial-scale deployment. Expert circles are agreed that this will take at least another 15 to 20 years. At the same time, the knowledge gaps still existing today, mainly as regards the behav-iour of CO2 below ground, must be closed before any robust assessment of a possible contribution of CCS to climate protection can be made. The demonstra-tion and pilot projects required for this currently lack a legal basis, so that development of a suitable regulatory framework must be tackled. This is all the more true of any industrial-scale implementation of the technology at a later date.
In this report by the TAB, the German Bundestag is being given an updated and comprehensive information basis for further policymaking in shaping the framework conditions for a more sustainable energy supply.
The Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment
Ulla Burchardt, Member of the German Bundestag
Axel E. Fischer, Member of the German Bundestag
Uwe Barth, Member of the German Bundestag
Hans-Josef Fell, Member of the German Bundestag
Swen Schulz, Member of the German Bundestag
Dr. Petra Sitte, Member of the German Bundestag
|Title||Greenhouse Gas - Bury it into Oblivion|
|Subheading||Options and risks of CO2 capture and storage|
|Series||Technology Assessment studies series, no. 2|
|Publisher||Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung beim Deutschen Bundestag (TAB), Berlin|