Carbon Capture and Storage: A New Frontier
Imagine all of the greenhouse gases that are destroying the atmosphere being captured and stored underground, before they reach the skies. It’s plausible and beginning to happen – moving from the research level to potentially revolutionizing a multitude of industries, according to a recent UK report. If governments can get behind the new technological advancements taking place with CCS (and that, of course, means large financial allocations), climate change may be slowed, or potentially quelled.
These are exciting developments, and an interesting recent article on the BBC website, by environmental correspondent Richard Black, has some notable quotes from prominent scientists, environmentalists and industry leaders: “CCS is seen as the key to many scenarios of how to mitigate climate change, whether that’s the UK meeting its targets on cutting emissions or global targets that keep warming below 2C,” said the report’s author Dr. Jim Watson, director of the energy research group at Sussex University. He also issued a cautionary statement, “but unlike other low-carbon technologies, CCS doesn’t exist at the commercial scale.” Yet.
A full-scale implementation is needed to see if CCS is financially viable, but the UK government has already agreed to put a £1bn towards the initiative and many other nations, like Sweden and the U.S. are hard at work with pilot programs already under way. Do I hear you ask, “Where is all of this captured carbon supposed to go?” Well, apparently the UK is not only in a strong position of leading the technology behind the CCS campaign, but also has “copious storage capacity” beneath the sea bed – enough to even sell to other countries. Potentially very good news.