Energy use and conversion

Carbon capture and storage 2.0

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and International Energy Agency (IEA) stress that large-scale implementation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies are a necessary part of reaching the Paris Agreement climate targets. Although CCS has long been considered an immature and risky distraction from other “better” decarbonization routes, today we see a renewed interest in this technology as it becomes an effective a tool for transitioning to a net-zero emission future.

Governments are implementing more effective climate policies and shareholders are pressuring companies to reduce their emissions. In response, DNV has seen a significant increase in commercial CCS project announcements and investment, especially in industrial sectors that have limited near-future technology alternatives for abating large CO2 emissions (e.g., oil and gas, steel, cement, and waste-to-energy). 

In 2020, there were 26 commercial scale CCS facilities in operation across the globe capturing just under 40 MtCO2. The latest Net Zero 2050 IEA scenario expects about 1.6 GtCO2 /yr to be captured globally by 2030, and 7.6 GtCO2 /yr by 2050. IEA forecast a marginal increase in the next 5 years, and rapid expansion over the following 25 years.

DNV also projects CCS to scale substantially over the next three decades thanks to the carbon price increase in Europe. However, because competitive carbon pricing in heavily industrialized countries such as China and India is not forecast to occur before 2035, DNV expects a more limited scale up compared with the long-term IEA scenario. DNV estimates that by 2050, CCS will account for only about 2.2 GtCO2 /yr. This is 70% lower than the latest Net Zero 2050 IEA requirement of permanently storing 7.2 GtCO2 /yr.

In this chapter, DNV's Technology Progress Report covers: 

  • Industrial CO2 capture
  • CCS for negative emissions
  • CO2 transport and storage infrastructure
  • CO2 capture and utilization

DNV perspective

CO2 capture technologies are mature and commercially available for large scale projects in all industrial sectors. Within the next decade, additional capture processes will reach commercial maturity. Capture costs, not technology, remain the major limitation for CCS implementation.

Developing transport and storage, including CO2 transport hubs connected to certified storage sites, is key to enabling CCS. In the coming years the development of CCS value chains is mainly expected in Europe which already has tailored regulations for CO2 storage as well as a favourable financial and political support. 

Atmospheric CO2 removal has limited application but can be accelerated by deploying Bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) at significant scales if supported by appropriate policies and certified offsetting methodologies. With the exception of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) applications, Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) needs to develop commercially and technically before it can apply at significant scale (i.e. >500 kt/yr) to more than a few specific applications; for this reason it is not expected to be a major contributor to cutting CO2 emissions in the short-term. 

CCS is growing at faster pace thanks to favourable conditions. However, the pace is not fast enough for a Paris-compliant energy future; that will require much more robust carbon pricing and other incentives at a global level. With the right support, CCS will be a valuable contribution to aid the transition to a net-zero energy system.