3 ways CCUS technologies can support low carbon energy transition: IEA
The use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies will play an important role in transforming power generation systems for a low carbon energy future. A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) outlines the latest advances in CCUS, and how targeted policy measures will be critical to realise the potential of carbon capture technologies in power generation, which accounts for almost 40% of global energy-related emissions.
Despite the advent of low-cost variable renewable sources, IEA notes that power plants fuelled by coal and gas still account for almost two-thirds of power generation globally—a share that remained relatively unchanged since 2000. With rising energy demands, there is greater pressure on the global energy sector to curb emissions while providing reliable electricity to a large and growing population.
In the report, IEA highlights three key ways CCUS technologies can help transform power systems and achieve climate objectives:
- Addressing emissions from existing plants: Owners of existing plants can retrofit CCUS technologies to protect their assets and reduce the cost of power system transformation. CCUS retrofits are especially relevant in Asia because of its young fleet of fossil-based power plants. IEA also notes that carbon capture retrofits make most sense for young and efficient power plants that are located near places with opportunities to use or store CO2.
- Flexibility for stable power: Flexibility and electricity security are increasingly pressing issues for power systems. Many regions have growing shares of power from variable renewables, driving a greater need for flexibility to ensure the stable operation of their power systems. CCUS-equipped power plants can help integrate renewables into the power system by providing short- and long-term flexibility.
- Net-zero and negative emissions: When combined with bioenergy, carbon capture and storage can support net-zero climate goals. Negative emissions can help offset emissions from other sectors where direct abatement is either technologically difficult or prohibitively expensive, including long-distance transport and some industrial processes.
Read the full report to learn more about the role of CCUS in supporting the transformation of power systems.
New CCUS developments will be covered in a panel discussion on low carbon innovations during the Singapore Energy Summit on 26 October.