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European Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ECCSEL (European Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Laboratory Infrastructure)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-08-31

"ECCSEL aims at gaining recognition as a world-class research infrastructure based upon leading European Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) institutions and knowledge centres. Goal of the project is the registration of ECCSEL as an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) in 2017, forming a legal entity allocating efforts and resources to selected scientific and technological aspects of the CCS chain. The objective is to make available and provide access to a world-class distributed research infrastructure set up as a central hub responsible for the coordinated operation of multiple research facilities operating under a joint hallmark, ECCSEL.

The UN ranks climate change as the most severe issue of our time. Nonetheless, in some nations the issue of security of energy supply appears to represent an even more severe concern. Since energy demand is expected to grow in the foreseeable future, these issues can hardly be resolved unless a larger part of the global energy is provided with less greenhouse gas emissions. CCS is seen as a key technology in tackling climate change. The IEA and IPCC anticipate that CCS will contribute around 17% of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required worldwide by 2050. The IEA further anticipates that the level should be as high as 24% within OECD Europe. In OECD Europe, this does not solely apply to the power sector, as 50% of the reductions must be achieved within industry.

Evidently, new techniques and concepts are urgently needed to improve the efficiency of CCS as a climate mitigation option. As CCS projects are expected to increase significantly in number and size, it is essential to reduce capital investments and operational costs, and to ensure and provide evidence of safety and environmental integrity. Intensified research and development aimed at enhancing the scientific and technological knowledge base is needed. The demands for enhanced research within Europe will be met via cross-institutional and transnational access to laboratories and facilities coordinated within and between countries. ECCSEL is justified by the pronounced need for a dedicated research environment, striving to close specific knowledge gaps, pushing the forefront of technological development beyond the state-of-the-art, and thereby accelerating the commercialisation and deployment of CCS. ECCSEL will coordinate necessary infrastructure investments thereby reducing overcapacity and cost at a European scale.

By operating a world-class CCS research infrastructure and offering transnational access to conduct research, ECCSEL is enabling researchers to generate substantial knowledge which can lead to new innovative solutions, such as more efficient products, processes and services relating to CCS, and thereby help to address societal challenges especially the issues of climate change and security of energy supply. Innovation is reflected in the stated objective and the scope of specific work packages, as well as in the expected impact statements.
ECCSEL is opening its RI to the full European user community"" to enable researchers to make decisive contributions to the grand societal challenges in energy supply and climate change via actions.

Outcome of the project:
• Implemented ECCSEL ERIC as a not-for-profit organisation
• Initiated operations of ECCSEL as a world-class CCS research infrastructure
• Initiated development of the ECCSEL RI to an upgraded common standard
• Established and aligned managerial and organisational procedures for proper handling of initial legal, contractual and operation issues
• Initiated operation and performed research and innovation activities by launching 3 calls for proposals granting access to existing facilities for researchers to carry out experimental work
• Implemented a sustainable business case for ECCSEL by establishing a resilient link with initial stakeholders from the public and private sector
• Implemented the ECCSEL research infrastructure and enhanced its technical architecture to achieve a common standard
• Developed ECCSEL Research Strategy and identified key research challenges and strategic objectives for next 10 years and a 5-year research activity roadmap and a user strategy
• Developed a capacity building programme and provided initial training to prospective users
• Followed the communication strategy and outreach plan to promote ECCSEL, attract users and gain their trust"
50 deliverables were completed during the project.
Project kick-off meeting and General Assembly meetings were held as planned.
Several stakeholder meetings with governmental representatives to discuss and plan the ECCSEL ERIC application were held.
2 Industry Advisory Group (IAG) meetings were.
2 Research Infrastructure Coordination Committee (RICC) were held.
The stage 1 & 2 ERIC application were sent to the European Commission and ECCSEL ERIC was founded on the 12th June 2016.
5 training courses where held (2 on capture, 2 on storage and 1 on large scale CCS Research Infrastructure). The course material has been published on the ECCSEL website.
17 National Info-days were held by ECCSEL partners in 8 countries.
3 Transnational Access (TA) calls were published and TA projects were selected. As a result of this, 18 TA research projects were completed using the ECCSEL RI. The results of these projects are being published in scientific publications, posters, presentations and dissertations. Publication Information is being added to the ECCSEL website.
ECCSEL represents a pan-European approach, rather than a local or national initiative, as it is based on a number of CCS research laboratories and test sites from different European countries. Significant investments will be directed into new and advanced research laboratories, but ECCSEL benefits from having a pre-existing collection of research facilities and wide internal CCS expertise.

ECCSEL optimises the use and development of the best CCS research facilities in Europe. In the field of science and technology, it has created a new research environment of Pan-European interest for the European scientific community. Duplication of efforts and/or poor utilisation of resources is being avoided by adjusting research priorities according to industrial needs and to European and national strategies.

At the present critical stage in technology development, issues of techno-economic viability can be quickly addressed and solutions for commercial deployment be devised through the provision of advanced research laboratories and associated knowledge-sharing. ECCSEL recognises that this kind of de-risking of the commercial CCS development, which is still at the early demonstration scale in Europe, will improve the confidence in CCS.

ECCSEL offers a state of the art inclusive environment for research and a multitude of benefits to its member and the CCS research communities, including:
• Cost and risk sharing
• Knowledge sharing
• Influence locations and capabilities of large pilots and research laboratories
• Maintain topical leadership in European CCS research
• Support the wider deployment of CCS
• Influence on the European research programme and policy development
• Extension of the support already obtained for existing national key laboratories