CCUS supports renewable energy to tackle net-zero reduction targets
Fossil fuels account for 80% of the world’s energy consumption – and that is growing each year. By contrast, renewable energy sits at around 3%, which reflects the slow rate at which energy transitions have occurred in the past.
The role of renewables is growing, but fossil fuels are interwoven into the entire global economy and cannot be simply set aside and replaced by renewables overnight. Fossil fuels are core ingredients for energy, food, garments, global fertiliser, plastic, compounds, steel and cement. Billions of people around the world rely on fossil fuels for these fundamental needs, while fossil fuel power plants continue to be built at a rapid rate in the developing world.
Renewable energy will play an ever-larger role in the global energy mix and the effort to reach net-zero emissions targets. However, on the understanding that fossil fuels are likely to be a major part of the equation for decades to come, CCUS is the proven technology that can make a difference now.
It is important that this embedded fossil fuel reality is accepted now so that action can be taken swiftly to ensure CCUS can be adopted at industrial scale globally as soon as possible. Any further delays in accepting the role of CCUS will put the world’s ability to meet ambitious reduction targets in grave doubt and make future adoption of the technology far less cost effective.
Hydrogen, in its many development colours, is being widely touted as a solution to both climate change and as a long-term replacement for fossil fuels. However, Blue Hydrogen projects, for example, produce potentially large amounts of CO2 emissions, which need to be stored if the emissions reduction goals of the technology are to be met.
Similarly, at a practical level, hydrogen storage is a key barrier to the realisation of a widespread hydrogen economy. Realistically, this needs to be geological storage, as it is difficult to imagine any other storage option having sufficient capacity.
Consequently, the relevance of the future hydrogen economy to CO2CRC seems self-evident; CO2CRC can assist with both CO2 sequestration and hydrogen storage.