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CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE : SHELL WANTS EU MONEY FOR CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE.

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell presented its Shell energy scenarios' on 7 April, urging government "action" on CO2 emissions. Speaking in Brussels, Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer was particularly vehement that EU policy makers promote the rapid development of techniques to store CO2 underground [CCS or carbon capture and storage]. Shell's energy scenarios to 2050 outline two scenarios, Scramble' and Blueprints', with the latter resembling a justification for CCS. "Because CO2 capture and storage adds costs and yields no revenues, government action is needed to support and stimulate investment quickly on a scale large enough to affect global emissions," van der Veer said.

According to van der Veer, delaying the widespread deployment of CO2 capture and storage beyond 2020 would translate into a yearly 1-ppm [parts-per-million] increase in long-term atmospheric CO2 stabilisation levels. "At the very least, companies should earn carbon credits for the CO2 they capture and store,"anoted van der Veer. Shell's CEO welcomed the EU's proposal for a directive on CCS, published on 23 January 2008, as providing the legal and regulatory framework to make the technology possible. "Yet, in the absence of an accompanying transitional EU funding mechanism to incentivise private sector investment, large-scale CCS projects in Europe are likely to be delayed," said van der Veer. The Shell CEO also wants policy debate on CCS and the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) to lead to a "framework" for funding. "We would support CCS projects being granted credits for the CO2 they capture and store, tradable in the ETS market. This could provide the necessary incentive to trigger private sector investment and make CCS happen today," said van der Veer.

In Shell's first scenario, Scramble', similar to business-as-usual, nations secure energy resources viewing energy security as a zero-sum game with clear winners and losers. Use of locally produced coal and homegrown biofuels increases, whilst decision makers fail to curb energy consumption until supplies run short. Despite rhetoric, greenhouse gas emissions are not addressed until major shocks trigger political reactions and accompanying energy price hikes and volatility. In Shell's second scenario, Blueprints', the company talks of numerous coalitions emerging to tackle economic development, energy security and environmental pollution via cross-border cooperation. "National governments introduce efficiency standards, taxes and other policy instruments to improve the environmental performance of buildings, vehicles and transport fuels," notes the company. More importantly for Shell, a major backer of CCS, the Blueprints world entails "widespread" use of the CO2 capture and storage technology.

Shell's Blueprints scenario assumes CCS at 90% of all coal and gas-fired power plants in developed countries by 2050 as well as at least 50% of those in non-OECD countries. Currently, no plants capture CO2.

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Publication:Europe Energy
Date:Apr 9, 2008
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