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Report - CCUS in China: 18 Key Issues

Date
15 June 2011
Report - CCUS in China: 18 Key Issues

BEIJING: On June 6, 2011, The Climate Group China released a new report in Beijing, entitled CCUS in China: 18 Key Issues.

The report describes the development of CCUS (carbon capture, use and storage) technology in China, and objectively analyzes the real value and development orientation of CO2 emission reduction technologies. The future of CCUS is discussed by analyzing its pros and cons, and the report offers government and enterprises specific descriptions to better understand and practice this technology.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) gives the definition of CCS as the process of separating CO2 from industrial or energy-related industries’ emissions and storing it in geological formations to be isolated from the atmosphere in long the term.

With its concrete conditions, China is pushing forward CCUS technology, adding CO2 utilization into the fundamental steps of CCS. So far CCUS has been accepted worldwide and CO2 utilization has attracted the attention of relevant government authorities.

In China's 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese Government further defined clearer energy strategies to face the increasingly serious energy and environmental issues, by setting out reduction targets as intensity of carbon emissions reduced by 40%-45% by 2020 compared to that of 2005.

China's 12th Five-Year Plan aims to reduce carbon emissions intensity by 16%-17% through a developing and implementing a series of energy saving programs.

As a big consumer of thermal power and coal, energy strategies and environmental protection by the government is crucial, but it's also vital to the interests of the Chinese people.

CCUS technology is considered as an important strategy of China's clean coal technology option. CCUS's contribution rate to emissions reduction cannot be ignored; IEA forecasts that by 2050 CCS could become the biggest contribution to emissions reduction technology among single technologies.

Due to the huge CO2 emissions reduction benefits and great energy efficiency it brings, coupled with its influence on economic benefits, social benefits and the combined effects of the ecological environment and long-term safety, CCUS is a significant alternative choice of technology.

However, policy researchers, government officials and business managers are not sure about whether CCUS should develop or how to develop it. Comprehensive discussion of CCUS problems is still relatively lacking.

This report analyzes the application of CCUS technology and shows how it will help China effectively to reduce CO2 emissions, thereby to achieve national emission reduction targets and fulfill its international responsibilities.

Because of China's coal-based industries structure (coal-fired power generation and coal chemical industry), development of low carbon technology will have a positive impact on areas of oil and coal based industries, so China can ensure its energy security, while tackling climate change.

While China is actively promoting the R&D model, CCUS stimulates growth in related disciplines of basic research and new technology. The technology spillover effect will benefit the electric power, oil, gas, (coal) chemical and other industries as well as basic science research.

There is a huge potential market of CCUS technology. It is crucial to develop CCUS technology to respond to upcoming market competition and grasp business opportunities. Major industrialized countries have already started to develop and demonstrate CCUS, in order to remain competitive, and avoid a passive position in the competitioin. China should also be prepared - as soon as possible - to meet the need of CCUS’s commercialization.

The report also discusses the challenges CCUS technology is currently facing, such as security risks, high costs, high energy consumption and the fact that CO2 utilization of resources - for example; market size - is unknown.

In addition to increasing R&D investment, active and effective domestic and cross-industry cooperation, are two keynotes to China’s CCUS development demonstration. To reduce the cost of CCUS technology, it is important that academic institutions do painstaking research, and enterprises participate actively. And it is important that international community could give more substantial technical and financial support to China.

The good news, is that China's large energy industries such as Huaneng Group, Shenhua Group, China Power Investment Corporation, CNPC, Sinopec and other companies, have pioneered in effective CCUS technology development and demonstration, through the engineering practice which has accumulated through technical and economic data and engineering experience, and the active communications with international academic and business communities.

This report also looks at the carbon tax and carbon trading system, and other potential policy instruments on CCUS, as well as other hot issues.

Changhua WU, Greater China Director, The Climate Group said: "CCUS technology in China is attracting more and more attention. We still need joined efforts to actively cope with severe climate change problems, and to fulfill China's international commitments. In terms of cost control, risk assessment, management, early warning and response mechanisms, and cross-sector collaboration, as well as other aspects, joined efforts are needed. Hopefully The Climate Group’s long-term tracking and a series of research-based results will offer decision-making bodies and the public more help."

See the report on TheClimateGroup.org.cn  (Chinese only)

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