Limited scope for CO2 cuts

4th November 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Fossil fuels

Author

Edward Allathan

European policymakers have been warned that targets for lower CO2 emissions from energy-intensive industries are out of reach without the introduction of mitigation technologies.

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden found limited scope to cut emissions from oil refining and production of cement and steel. Improving energy efficient and changing to fossil-free fuels are two options often mentioned to cut emissions, but it is possible to tackle only a limited amount of emissions with these measures in the production of cement and steel, said the study.

"Plants have very long lifespans, so implementation of new solutions takes a long time. If the EU is serious about reducing emissions by 80-90% by 2050, the issue of how to finance the development and implementation of innovative process technology must be brought to the table now," said researcher Johan Rootzén.

The study says a large-scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) must be established urgently. Plans for CCS in the UK have suffered two setbacks, however. First, Drax is halting funding of the White Rose CCS scheme. The operator of the UK's largest power station said it would fulfil its role in completing the feasibility and technology development (FEED) assessment, but would not invest further.

Meanwhile, the closure of the SSI steelmaking plant at Redcar has cast doubt over plans for an industrial CCS network on Teesside. The steel producer was one of four "anchor" companies involved in the project, which aimed to cut the region's annual CO2 emissions by 25% from 2024. Spokesperson Neil Kenley commented: "It's too soon to draw conclusions, but the strength of the Teesside Collective is that we are more than any one plant, however large that plant might be."

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