Europe's energy supply needs cost-effective solutions for near-zero emission technologies of a high environmental standard. Likewise, the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with cleaner fossil fuel-using power plants is essential. With this in mind, the 'Characterisation of European CO2 storage' (SITECHAR) project, funded by the EU, studied potential geological storage sites. It aimed to deliver a methodology for the assessment of such sites and the preparation of storage permits. This would incorporate technical and economic data, as well as a social dimension, to support large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. Five potential storage sites in Europe were selected as test sites for the project. Two of these were characterised to a level suitable for a storage permit application, which was evaluated by a group of independent experts. Studies conducted at the other sites aimed to overcome specific barriers related to site characterisation methodology. The differences between the five research sites allowed SITECHAR to better define parameters involved in site evaluation. These schemes will define what work needs to be done in order to comply with the EU's Storage Directive. An important aspect of SITECHAR addressed public awareness of CCS projects, through online and in-person meetings and discussions. Surveys were conducted to better understand the public's awareness and understanding of CSS. One of the project's final deliverables was a set of practical guidelines for developers and regulators, designed to ensure favourable site characterisation for CO2 storage. Thus, SITECHAR provided a valuable tool for the roll-out of geological storage on an industrial scale in Europe.
Carbon storage, CO2 storage, carbon capture and storage, site characterisation, storage permit