18 Oct CO2 capture and storage: inevitable for a climate friendly Belgium
Belgium Academies (ARB) 2010
In industrial installations, but also for power production, it will be difficult or impossible to avoid the use of fossil fuels in the short to medium future. It is exactly for these applications that CCS can be applied to drastically reduce the emission of CO2.
The industry in Belgium is CO2 intensive and CO2 capture appears therefore as an inevitable option to meet environmental goals without jeopardizing general well-fare. All capture activities are to be balanced by geological storage, and the potential for that is uncertain in Belgium. Transport of CO2, by pipeline or ship, is however relatively cheap and efficient, even over distances of several hundreds of kilometers. It is therefore reassuring that the European storage potential is sufficiently large for large scale CCS activities throughout the EU. Nevertheless, it is highly recommendable to start exploration for domestic storage reservoirs.
CO2 capture and storage is a climate friendly measure that does not need sustained financial support to be viable. After a relatively short commercialization phase the Emission Trading System (ETS) price of CO2 will by itself be a sufficient economic stimulus. Nevertheless, early support is crucial for fast and large-scale application of CCS. Therefore, this report includes recommendations that should lead to a clear energy policy that includes CCS and public funding for a correctly balanced public-private investment scheme for essential developments that will contribute to the common good.
CCS is not a perfect solution. The option of CCS would not be on the table, were it not essential and inevitable. This is true for the world as a whole, but also for Belgium and its regions Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital.