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How Canada is pushing inefficiency with Taxpayers money

by on July 5, 2011

Shell Gets $876 Million for Canadian Carbon Capture Project. Alberta has committed C$2 billion to fund four carbon capture and storage projects. “CCS is recognized as one of the most promising technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels,” said John Abbott, Shell’s executive vice president of Heavy Oil Source Bloomberg

Limitations of CCS for power stations

One limitation of CCS is its energy penalty. The technology is expected to use between 10 and 40 percent of the energy produced by a power station.[84] Wide-scale adoption of CCS may erase efficiency gains of the last 50 years, and increase resource consumption by one third. Even taking the fuel penalty into account, however, overall levels of CO2 abatement would remain high at approximately 80-90%, compared to a plant without CCS.[85] It is theoretically possible for CCS, when combined with combustion of biomass, to result in net negative emissions, but this is not currently feasible given the lack of development of CCS technologies and the limitations of biomass production.[86]

The use of CCS can reduce CO2 emissions from the stacks of coal power plants by 85-90% or more, but it has no effect on CO2 emissions due to the mining and transport of coal. It will actually “increase such emissions and of air pollutants per unit of net delivered power and will increase all ecological, land-use, air-pollution, and water-pollution impacts from coal mining, transport, and processing, because the CCS system requires 25% more energy, thus 25% more coal combustion, than does a system without CCS”.[87]

Another concern regards the permanence of storage schemes. It is claimed that safe and permanent storage of CO2 cannot be guaranteed and that even very low leakage rates could undermine any climate mitigation effect.[84]

Finally, there is the issue of cost. Greenpeace claims that CCS could lead to a doubling of plant costs.[84] CCS though may remain economically attractive in comparison to other forms of low carbon electricity generation.[88] It is also claimed by opponents to CCS that money spent on CCS will divert investments away from other solutions to climate change. Source Wikipedia CCS

Possible Solutions

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a greenhouse gas mitigation technology which produces negative carbon emissions by combining biomass use with geologiccarbon capture and storage. BECCS is a form of carbon dioxide removal, along with technologies such as biochar, carbon dioxide air capture and biomass burial. Source Wikipedia BECCS

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