THE US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced US$68.4m of funding for cost-shared CCS R&D projects that will help to secure the safe and permanent storage of over 50m t of CO2.
DoE’s Office of Fossil Energy aims to determine the feasibility of developing onshore and/or offshore geologic storage complexes capable of cumulatively accepting the planned commercial-scale volumes of CO2.
The project, called Carbon Storage Assurance and Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE), is intended to develop integrated CCS storage complexes, which aims to be constructed and operational by 2025 over phases of development.
The first phase will be a pre-feasibility study for suitable geological sites to store over 50m t of CO2, and develop a plan to address the regulatory, technical, commercial and financial policies and challenges of potential projects. The selected projects will perform a high-level technical evaluation of the sub-basin and potential CO2 source(s).
The second phase will solicit the R&D projects to perform the initial characterisation of a storage complex identified as having high potential. It will also extend the pre-feasibility work of phase one, focussing on one or more specific reservoirs within the defined storage complex.
Other work in this phase will involve a geologic analysis of the site, identifying and planning to satisfy contractual and regulatory requirements, subsurface modelling to support geologic characterisation, and risk assessment.
When contacted by The Chemical Engineer, the DoE was unable to provide details of the CCS technology of the R&D under consideration.
Luke Warren, chief executive of the UK’s Carbon Capture and Storage Assoaciation (CCSA), which recently published a report stating there are no more technical barriers to developing CCS, only commercial challenges, welcomed the DoE announcement.
Warren said the scale of the DoE’s project will be what is needed to deliver on the CO2 reduction ambitions of the Paris climate agreement. He also said shifting focus to the storage infrastructure and not the CO2 emitter is also a welcome change in policy, as infrastructure costs can be addressed by groups of industrial emitters
“If we look at how CCS will roll out over the next ten or 20 years, we will see regions where you develop infrastructure for a group of emitters. Regions that can tie together their infrastructure will remove their CO2 cost-effectively,” added Warren.
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