Which is to say “renewables” are completely devoid of “climate” value because CCS is no more and no less than a waste of energy and the very fuel of photosynthesis, a.k.a. green plant life and all that depends on it
In an effort to curb climate change, renewable energy development and energy efficiency retrofits are only half of the equation in reducing the world’s dependency on oil, coal and natural gas. While the burning of fossil fuels will remain a central component of the global energy matrix for at least another hundred years, developing technologies to capture some of the pollution in that space will be just as critical as developing alternatives to replace them in the future.
As the American Association for the Advancement of Science convention wrapped up last month, specialists in carbon capture and storage (CCS) indicated that the technology can work on a global scale to cut emissions by 25 per cent over the next century. CCS will be especially critical in rapidly expanding countries like China, India and Russia, where coal-fired generation dominates. As the least expensive option in extending electricity supply to citizens in developing nations, coal is the most expensive option in terms of the environment, accounting for half of annual CO2 emissions globally today.
In nations that can afford the R&D like British Columbia, the provincial government has banned the development of coal-fired generation that does not include CCS technology. At the conference, developers from Canada, Germany and the U.S. presented some favorable results from the most current projects working on pulling CO2 out of smokestacks to be pumped deep underground for permanent storage.
Canada, in particular, is pioneering CCS technology through the Weyburn carbon storage project that has been underway for over ten years. CO2 from a 330 kilometre pipeline that connects the oil field of Weyburn Sask. to a coal gasification plant in North Dakota is transported and injected deep beneath Canadian soil.