Skip to main content

Assessing European capacity for geological storage of carbon dioxide

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

International CO2 capture to offset emissions

EU-funded researchers have fostered international cooperation to make significant advances in understanding global capacity for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. This has the potential to dramatically improve the health of our planet and its citizens until greener energy becomes the standard.


Given that dependence on fossil fuels is unlikely to decline significantly in the near future while increasing energy demands result in increased CO2 emissions, CO2 capture and storage (CCS) could significantly offset emissions in the near to mid-term. The ‘Assessing European capacity for geological storage of carbon dioxide’ (EU Geocapacity) project was undertaken to facilitate the widespread adoption of CCS programmes on a European level while including countries such as China, India and Russia, whose rapid development and thus rapidly increasing energy demands present important challenges to global CO2 emissions reduction. The research team conducted a thorough inventory of CO2 sources with particularly high emissions and evaluated CO2 storage potential of involved EU countries. They used the data to create the EU Geocapacity geographical information system (GIS) that demonstrated, even with conservative estimates, that the combined European sites have the capacity to store 62 years’ worth of CO2 emissions. Economic studies included the potential benefits of using CO2 from CCS for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), enhanced gas recovery (EGR) and enhanced coal bed methane recovery (ECBM) via CO2 injection into the reservoirs or coal beds. Recent reports have suggested the huge potential of combined CCS and CO2-enhanced recovery to provide a critical near-term solution for the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Finally, the research team defined technical criteria for selection of suitable and safe long-term CO2 storage sites and developed an enhanced decision support system (DSS) to easily assess the economic feasibility of CCS. They enhanced technology transfer to Chinese experts and helped to build a Chinese component of the GIS database. Furthermore, they promoted CCS programme development in India and Russia. EU Geocapacity investigators made significant advances in understanding the CCS infrastructure in Europe. They fostered international cooperation via technology transfer and establishment of standards and site selection criteria. Taken together, the EU Geocapacity outcomes lay the foundations for international CCS programmes that have the potential to drastically offset the CO2 emissions produced by continued dependence on fossil fuels until sustainable forms of energy become the norm.

Discover other articles in the same domain of application