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Acceptance of CO2 Capture, Storage - Economics, Policy, and Technology

Final Report Summary - ACCSEPT (Acceptance of CO2 Capture, Storage - Economics, Policy, and Technology)

The overall aim of the ACCSEPT project was to contribute to the timely and responsible application of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the EU. The project is funded by the EC - DG Research under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The project identified and analysed the main factors which have been influencing the emergence of CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) within the EU. The key clusters of factors are: legal issues, regulatory issues, economic issues, social acceptability issues and cross-cutting issues. These factors have been extensively discussed in the various work packages and in two stakeholder workshops (2006 and 2007). The project team also surveyed stakeholder opinion across the EU on these factors through a large-scale questionnaire undertaken in 2006.

The ACCSEPT project ran from January 2006 to December 2007. The project identified and analysed the main factors which have been influencing the emergence of CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) within the EU. The key clusters of factors are: legal issues, regulatory issues, economic issues, social acceptability issues and cross-cutting issues. These factors have been extensively discussed in the various work packages and in two stakeholder workshops (2006 and 2007). The project team also surveyed stakeholder opinion across the EU on these factors through a large-scale questionnaire undertaken in 2006.

During the latter half of 2006, 512 stakeholders from across Europe participated in a survey of opinion regarding the role of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) in Europe's possible energy futures. The large majority of respondents were from the energy industry, research and government sectors, with smaller numbers from environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and from national parliaments.

The respondents tended to regard the risks of CCS as being moderate or negligible and did not perceive there to be very negative impacts arising from investment in CCS upon efforts at improving energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. However, 44 % of the sample did think that investment in CCS might lead to at least some negative impacts on other low- and zero-carbon energy technologies (LZCTs), compared to 51 % who did not think that there would be negative impacts or thought that impacts might even be positive.

Not surprisingly, countries with fossil fuel reserves tend to regard availability of coal, and opportunities for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery through use of CO2, as more important than countries which are not fossil fuel producers.

The survey findings lead to a few possible recommendations for policy makers at the European and national scales. Firstly, there is clearly strong support from all stakeholders in all countries for stronger incentives to support the further development and implementation of CCS within the EU. Most important amongst these are an early commitment to extend the EU ETS beyond the Kyoto reporting period with stronger national emissions caps. Secondly, it appears that opinion is quite divided between NGOs and other stakeholders on the merits of CCS. This difference is probably, at least to some extent, unavoidable and reflects organisational interests and produces a healthy debate over energy futures in a carbon-constrained world. Rather than trying to encourage consensus, it is important to continue to pursue an active dialogue and effective sharing of information and new scientific and technical data as it becomes available. The ambivalent position of parliamentarians is of interest, and could be followed-up by a dedicated study of the opinions of legislators, potentially through use of focused discussion panels (since it is very difficult to elicit the opinions of parliamentarians through use of surveys).

Thirdly, it seems that stakeholders in Central and Eastern European countries are in general less convinced of the need for CCS than are those in other parts of Europe. There is some evidence from the survey that they are also less well informed about CCS technology and its associated risks and benefits than stakeholders in other parts of Europe. One implication is that there may be value in a focused CCS communication and awareness-raising activity with Central and Eastern European stakeholders, though existing projects such as CO2NET-East are already providing this to some extent.

The final and conclusive report from the project is available on the website: http://www.accsept.org. This report is also available in printed by contacting the members of the project team or the project secretary birgit.hess@dnv.com. The report has two main sections. The first discussing and responding to a set of eleven fundamental questions related to decision making, preparation, policies and practices for successful implementation of CCS in Europe. The second section contains key recommendations that have been developed for six different areas. The following is a brief overview of those two sections but we recommend anyone who has an interest in the quality of the CCS debate and the preparation for a successful implementation to read the full report which deliberately has been kept relatively short and in an easily understood non-technical language.

The report first sets the scene for the need for CCS in Europe and discusses the policy options and objectives which in a short form can be summarised as follows:
In order to limit climate change it has been estimated that CO2 reductions of between 60 % to 80 % in 2050, compared to 1990, are required for industrialised countries such as those of the EU. Current trends and projections show an increased use of coal in the EU over the coming decades. If climate change policy objectives are to be met concurrently with coal and gas remaining an important part of the fuel mix for European electricity generation, then the implementation of CCS will be necessary in the EU.

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 22791

  • Start date

    1 January 2006

  • End date

    31 December 2007

Funded under:

FP6-POLICIES

  • Overall budget:

    € 398 999

  • EU contribution

    € 398 999

Coordinated by:

DET NORSKE VERITAS AS