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Support stakeholders in zero emission fossil fuel power plants and energy intensive industry

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SSFZEP (Support stakeholders in zero emission fossil fuel power plants and energy intensive industry)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-10-31

Addressing climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing Europe today. Europe is a world leader in climate activity and has demonstrated international leadership in a number of areas including, renewable energy deployment, emissions trading and energy efficiency. However, to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement Europe will need to go further and decarbonise all parts if its economy.

CCS and CCU are widely recognised as being essential to support European climate ambition. CCS and CCU can support the direct decarbonisation of multiple sectors including industry and power. It can also be used to produce large volumes of low carbon hydrogen which can then be used to help decarbonise sectors like transport and heating. Finally, the Paris agreement requires Europe to move to "net-zero". This means that there will need to be deployment of "Carbon Dioxide Removal" technologies which remove CO2 that has already been released to the atmosphere. The application of CCS and CCU to sustainable bioenergy and direct air capture will help deliver some of these removals.

In addition, to helping deliver on climate goals CCS and CCU are also important in supporting the transition of existing industries - and their associated jobs - to a low carbon economy. As well as ensuring that Europe can retain jobs in its key industries the development of this technology is also an area where Europe can develop and demonstrate technology leadership. CCS and CCU will need to be deployed globally if the world is to deliver on the Paris agreement and it is important that Europe develops industrial capability in the low carbon industries of the future.

This project brought together a wide range of stakeholders - government, industry, researchers and civil society - to develop a shared understanding on the role of these critical technologies and the steps and actions that Europe needs to take to make CCS and CCU a reality.
The work of the project has focused on bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and creating an environment that can enable them to agree on the approach needed to progress CCS and CCU. In addition, bringing together these diverse stakeholders – including the private and public sectors – and supporting their activities, has led to a greater understanding of the critical role that CCS and CCU technologies can play in the transition to a climate-neutral economy.

To enable stakeholders to cooperate effectively, a number of bodies were established to provide strategic direction to the project, facilitate the development of deliverables by stakeholders and ensure that the outputs of the project were effectively communicated and disseminated. These bodies met regularly over the reporting period in order to ensure that the results of the project were delivered.

The Advisory Council, which is the decision-making body of the project, met quarterly while the Advisory Council Executive Committee met every month to monitor progress between meetings of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council meetings are also the project’s milestones and allow progress towards reaching the objectives to be assessed.

The Networks and Temporary Working Groups, which undertake the technical/economic work of the project, also met regularly. The Networks meet, on average, every three to four months while the Temporary Working Groups meet as required in order to progress specific areas of activity. This involve periods of intense activity, e.g. weekly meetings, to progress reports, etc.

To ensure effective communication and dissemination of the projects results, the External Relations Group and the linked Communications Group have met monthly to agree on the communication and dissemination priorities and activities to undertake. In order to also ensure that the work and results of the project were effectively communicated to Member State representatives, the Government Group met every four months.

The project's activities have been diverse and include;
- Supporting the work of the SET-Plan Working Group to deliver priority targets for CCS and CCU.
- Providing advice to the European Commission, other institutions, and relevant European activities where CCS and CCU can contribute, for example the High Level Group on Energy Intensive Industries, the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, The development of the Clean Energy Transition Partnership, and the design and development of the EU ETS Innovation Fund.
- Hosting events so that external audiences can understand more about the role of CCS and CCU. These also include events in the European Parliament, and sessions at the EU Sustainable Energy and Green Weeks and EU Industry Days.
- Producing authoritative reports, for example on how CCS can contribute to delivering the Paris agreement, on trans-European CO2 transport Infrastructure, on definitions and robust accounting for Carbon Dioxide Removals, on the crucial role of low-carbon hydrogen production CO2.
By bringing together these stakeholders and facilitating their deep collaboration there is an increasingly deep understanding on the steps Europe needs to take on delivering CCS and CCU. This thought leadership has been widely appreciated by key audiences such as policymakers. The climate change agenda continues to increase in prominence and this project has provided the high quality inputs to the debate that is required if we are to be successful.

The interest in CCS and CCU has increased substantially during the project. Participation and engagement from policymakers and other stakeholders in meetings with the Advisory Council, the two Networks and working groups, as well as the Government Group have increased strongly. There are today more than 50 CCS and CCU projects in Europe in preparations to become operational before 2030.

The project has also made important contributions to a number of key societal challenges:
- Showing how Europe undertake practical domestic action that address climate change as well as demonstrating international leadership.
- Supporting its industries and their associated communities to transition to a low carbon economy in a manner that ensures that no communities are left behind.
- Developing a strong position in one the key future low-carbon industries helping to deliver the clean growth opportunities of the future.

There has also been substantial successful preparations to extend the work beyond the duration of the project, both for the next grant period and for the between, without grant support.
ZEP event in the European Parliament