No to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

If fossil fuels are the problem as regards air pollution in general and climate change in particular, why should they be part of the solution? The fossil fuel industry has been pushing for many years for research and demonstration programmes into schemes to have power plant capture carbon dioxide and have this stored somewhere (carbon capture and storage or CCS).

It is fairly obvious that this will increase the costs of the energy supply greatly beyond renewable energy, so why bother?  A more insidious problem is that  this can help the fossil fuel industry  carry on producing from a given, say, coal mine or natural gas well to sell un-decarbonised products somewhere the carbon standards are lower. In fact most efforts to have CCS for power plant have been sidelined, but the natural gas industry still has big hopes that it can continue to supply natural gas in new clothes as natural gas with CCS (‘blue hydrogen’).

Indeed the European Commission, in its ‘roadmap’ for hydrogen says ‘In a transition phase, the production of low-carbon hydrogen (also referred as ‘blue’) based on natural
gas, combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, or other low-emission pathways if they are
commercially available, may support the effective scale-up of renewable hydrogen by contributing to satisfy
medium-term demand for hydrogen’ (page 2). It is almost Orwellian in that you are urged to support green technology by continuing to support fossil fuels! As if the oil companies are going to stop selling the (co-produced, but undecarbonised) natural gas to everybody else who is not being supplied with the ‘blue’ hydrogen! Some shortcomings of such plans are dicussed in this briefing: Blue hydrogen – a bad choice

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