The forecast is based on current policy positions from governments, and on the relatively low prevailing carbon price. “CCS struggles to gain traction because industry has a cheaper option: continuing business as usual. Emitting carbon into the atmosphere costs virtually nothing,” said Hovem.
Sensitivity studies from the Energy Transition Outlook suggest that doubling existing carbon prices would result in a tenfold increase in CO2 captured. The Outlook comments that factors such as carbon price could change quickly as more countries come to consider CCS as a cost-effective way to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
“The future of CCS lies largely in the hands of policymakers setting a higher carbon price than the cost of the technology. Industry can also play a role in stimulating quicker adoption by focusing on finding ways to reduce the cost of CCS technology,” said Hovem.
“When deployed, we expect CCS to enter a cost learning curve similar to what we saw in the solar and wind industries, with costs reducing 15% to 20% per doubling of capacity. But, we will not move down the cost learning curve unless we start rolling out the technology, and we do not foresee a roll-out of technology before the costs have come down.”
This requires the types of bold decisions that stimulated other technologies for decarbonization to be taken up at scale, she added: “Large-scale uptake of CCS technology will unlock significant opportunities for hydrocarbon and renewable energy technologies to work together to decarbonize the energy mix. The energy industry must however also shift its mindset from ‘gas versus renewables’ to ‘gas and renewables’ for success.”
Integrating hydrocarbon and renewable technologies for decarbonizing gas
The Energy Transition Outlook
discusses approaches to integrating hydrocarbon and renewable technology for decarbonized gas production and consumption, including:
- Introduction of new, carbon-free forms of gas, such as hydrogen, to national gas networks;
- Power-to-gas, with existing gas pipelines used to transport hydrogen produced from electrolysis of seawater using offshore wind power, or from offshore-based methane reformers;
- Gas-to-wire, where gas is used to produce power offshore for transport to shore via nearby windfarm cabling;
- Offshore platform electrification, in which platforms import renewable power directly from offshore windfarms installed nearby.