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Carbon capture, utilisation and storage

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) refers to a suite of technologies that can play a diverse role in meeting global energy and climate goals.

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Key findings

Capacity of large-scale CO2 capture projects, current and planned vs. the Net Zero Scenario, 2020-2030

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CCUS facilities currently capture almost 45 Mt CO2 globally, but this needs to increase

There are around 35 commercial facilities applying CCUS to industrial processes, fuel transformation and power generation, with a total annual capture capacity of almost 45 Mt CO2. CCUS deployment has been behind expectations in the past but momentum has grown substantially in recent years, with around 300 projects in various stages of development across the CCUS value chain.

Project developers have announced ambitions for over 200 new capture facilities to be operating by 2030, capturing over 220 Mt CO2 per year. However, only around 10 commercial capture projects under development have taken FID as of June 2022. Nevertheless, even at such level, CCUS deployment would remain substantially below what is required in the Net Zero Scenario.

Venture Capital investments in CCU start-ups, 2015-2021

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CO2 use can bring important climate benefits, but with caveats

Around 230 Mt of CO2 are currently used each year, mainly in direct use pathways in the fertiliser industry for urea manufacturing (~130 Mt) and for enhanced oil recovery (~80 Mt). New utilisation pathways in the production of CO2-based synthetic fuels, chemicals and building aggregates are gaining momentum.

CO2 use does not necessarily lead to emissions reduction. Climate benefits associated with a given CO2 use depend on the source of the CO2 (natural, fossil, biogenic or air-captured), the product or service the CO2-based product is displacing, the carbon intensity of the energy used for the conversion process, how long the CO2 is retained in the product, and the scale of the market for this particular use. The use of low-carbon energy is particularly critical for CO2 use in fuels and chemical intermediates, as these processes are highly energy-intensive.

Operational and planned BECCS capture capacity by stage of development vs Net Zero Scenario, 2022-2030

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Despite increasing awareness around the importance of BECCS to reach net zero, deployment remains low

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) involves any energy pathway where CO2 is captured from a biogenic source and permanently stored. Only around 2 Mt of biogenic CO2 are currently captured per year, mainly in bioethanol applications. Based on projects currently in the early and advanced stages of deployment, carbon removal via BECCS could reach ~40 Mt CO2/year by 2030, which falls short of the circa 250 Mt/year removed through BECCS by 2030 in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.

The momentum behind BECCS has, however, grown substantially in recent years: plans for over 50 new facilities involving BECCS (totalling biogenic capture capacity of around 20 Mt CO2 per year) were announced between January 2021 and June 2022, across several BECCS applications, boosted by company- and country-level net zero commitments.

Reports

Our work

Founded in 1991, the remit of the GHG TCP is to evaluate options and assess the progress of carbon capture and storage, and other technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions derived from the use of fossil fuels, biomass and waste. The aim of the TCP is to help accelerate energy technology innovation by ensuring that stakeholders from both the public and private sectors share knowledge, work collaboratively and, where appropriate, pool resources to deliver integrated and cost-effective solutions.