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Support to Energy Stakeholders of the Zero Emission Platform

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SESZEP (Support to Energy Stakeholders of the Zero Emission Platform)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2018-04-30

The Paris Agreement commits the EU to a target of keeping global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, necessitating “net-zero” emissions in the second half of the century. As a significant global emitter of CO2 the EU must be ambitious in its delivery of this target. This necessitates action to decarbonise all sections of the economy by 2050.
Modelling demonstrates that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will be essential to meeting decarbonisation targets at least cost. CCS enables decarbonisation in industry, heating, transport and power. However, progress on CCS has been slow and requires coordinated action between Member States and the EU Commission to realise projects.
The transition to a low-carbon economy must ensure the competitiveness of the EU economy, to retain highly skilled jobs, and enable the EU to host energy intensive industries while delivering on climate goals. The EU can support industries by developing of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure which is accessed by CO2 emitters enabling them to cost competitively reduce their CO2 emissions.
Addressing climate change supports the future prosperity and stability of society. It is important that the EU demonstrates international leadership in meeting the Paris Agreement target.
The objectives of the project were to:
• Develop recommendations on the policy and regulatory interventions that can successfully address the technical and non-technical barriers to the delivery of innovation in CCS and the wider energy sector.
• Develop a clear set of recommendations that help define CCS Research & Innovation (R&I) priorities, strategies, investment programmes and project selection decisions.
• Improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities of energy system integration between CCS and other energy technologies both within and between the power and energy intensive industries.
• Support public authorities, e.g. the European Commission and Member States, on the actions – including R&I, financial mechanisms and addressing barriers – required to underpin CCS innovation.
• Effectively contribute to the work of the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET-Plan) ensuring that its activities receive the necessary support from stakeholders to enable successful delivery.
The conclusions of the project demonstrate that CCS remains an important element of Europe’s response to the energy transition. A broader set of stakeholders is emerging with an interest in developing CCS as part of a sustainable future for EU industries. These extend beyond the traditional scope of the application of CCS to power and industry to also consider how CCS can support other important CO2 emitting sectors, e.g. heating and transport.
The Platform has developed a clear set of recommendations outlining how CCS could develop in Europe. This includes recommendations on how to develop CO2 transport and storage infrastructure as a public good; how to utilise EU, member state and private funding for first projects; and the role of CCS in decarbonising multiple areas of the economy including heating and industry.
"The project established a number of bodies that support the coordination of stakeholders and enabled them to come to a common view on the role of CCS technologies and the steps needed for progress, including:
- Managed an Advisory Council that provided strategic direction and oversaw delivery of the work programme.
- Ran stakeholder Networks to deliver the Platform’s work. These networks comprised stakeholders to ensure that multiple perspectives were represented.
- Detailed work was undertaken by Temporary Working Groups which brought together expert parties that were willing to contribute to specific deliverables.
- Held meetings of the Government Group to facilitate interaction between the Platform and Member States.
- Provided support to the development of the CCS Implementation Plan under the SET-Plan.
- Hosted an External Relations Group to inform the Platform’s external communications strategy
The main output of the Platform includes reports which communicate the R&I priorities for CCS, technical and non-technical deployment challenges and recommendations on how to progress CCS given these new insights. Key pieces of work include:
- Commercial Scale Feasibility of Clean Hydrogen
- Climate solutions for EU industry: interaction between electrification, CO2 use and CO2 storage
- Fast Track CO2 Transport and Storage for Europe
- Future CCS Technologies
- 5th annual Market Economics report ""CCS and Europe's Contribution to the Paris Agreement - Modelling least-cost CO2 reduction pathways""
The work programme was also supported by an External Relations Group which helped to disseminate the projects conclusions and maximise exploitation of the results.
The dissemination and exploitation of the results included,
- Hosting technical workshops and a General Assembly; supporting external events such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum
- Presentations at conferences, roundtables, expert workshops and other external activity.
- Dissemination of reports via email to key stakeholders
- A monthly programme of engagement with key stakeholders including representatives of EU institutions and members state."
There have been a number of interesting developments over the period that has changed understanding on the contribution that CCS can play in the European energy system. Including;
- The role that hydrogen can play in decarbonising parts of the EU economy This work has underscored the importance of other production sources of hydrogen and other end-use applications, notably heating, industry and transport.
- The potential role of CCU technologies has played an increasingly large part in the discussions around decarbonisation of industry, and an awareness of the need to align short-term benefits of developing CCU for economic reasons with long-term climate mitigation.
- The need for Energy Intensive Industries to have access to decarbonisation in order for them to remain competitive and able to contribute to a low carbon economy which in many cases means access to CCS.
- The value of developing CO2 transport and storage infrastructure as a regional asset, and the role of regional, national and EU actors in enabling this.

The project will have significantly increased awareness of CCS and the solutions needed at a technical and policy level to enable implementation, including:
- Increased understanding between stakeholders on the role that CCS can play in supporting the European low-carbon transition.
- Understanding on the role of CCS has enabled ZEP stakeholders to use the insights in their outreach and enhanced communication of the projects conclusions.
- Cooperation between stakeholders through the SET-Plan process has assisted the development of priority activities that need to be progressed.
- ZEP has provided advice such as design of the Innovation Fund to enable funding of CCS projects.
- Increased awareness among political and industry stakeholders of the role of CCS in reaching 2050 targets.
Increasing understanding on the importance of CCS should positively impact on policies that can advance CCS. Increased deployment of CCS in Europe will have a positive impact by reducing the costs of delivering climate goals, enhancing competitiveness of industry and demonstrating international leadership on climate change.
European Parliament hearing on the role of CCS to contributing to clean growth
Panel discussions at the hearing