In one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage funding programmes the European Commission allocated €275m (approximately $CDN350m) to assist projects but an open competition this year failed to find any that meet the criteria for a grant. It had been expected that two or three CCS projects would be supported.
Ten projects had been on the EC’s short list. Four of the projects involved carbon dioxide capture from natural gas combined cycle electricity generating plants, four from coal fired electricity generating plants, one from a plant that is planned to produce hydrogen , and one from a steel blast furnace. Seven of the projects planned to store the carbon dioxide in saline aquifers, three in depleted oil fields, and one in onshore storage vessels. One of the projects planned to use both a saline aquifer and a depleted oil field. Summaries of each of the projects are provided in the European Commission Staff Working Document at http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/docs/2012071201_swd_ner300.pdf
The EC reports that “Member States were unable to confirm the projects for various reasons: in some cases there were funding gaps, while in others the projects were not sufficiently advanced to allow for confirmation within the timeframe of the first call for proposals.” Some observers consider that the inability of any of the projects to qualify for this funding is an indication of the early stage of development at which CCS technologies are currently positioned.
It is expected that the unused CCS funding will be carried forward to a new call for CCS project proposals in 2013. Applications must be submitted through an EC member government.
The EC decision on CCS projects, as well as a more positive decision on innovative renewable energy projects, can be found at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-999_en.htm