IEAGHG International CCS Summer School


By Sam Neades

25 July 2023

IEAGHG’s 15th International CCS Summer School was held from the 9th to the 15th of July in Regina, Canada, and was – as always – a resounding success! Hosted by the International CCS Knowledge Centre, the event welcomed 32 students from 17 different countries for a week of interactive learning from international experts on all aspects of carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

The students began the week with lectures, workshops and discussions on climate change and the global CCS scene and international and national policy, before delving into the capture part of the CCS value chain, where in-depth conversations were had on the different capture technology options, BECCS, negative emissions, DAC and hydrogen and CCS. Next up were lectures on the storage of CO2; from transport to the storage site to modelling the geology to actual storage, and from wellbore integrity to environmental aspects, no stone was left unturned! Finally, students learned about geoengineering, costs, economics and financing, legal and regulatory carbon accounting, public communication, engagement and social media.

Alongside the in-depth lecture programme, students and mentors ventured 200km south of Regina to the world’s first fully-integrated and full-chain CCS facility on a coal-fired power plant – Saskpower’s Boundary Dam 3 facility (BD3). At BD3, CO2 is captured from the retrofitted Unit 3, reducing carbon emissions and producing clean energy. To date, over 5 million tonnes of CO2 have been stored safely underground at the Aquistore storage site, which we also visited. This site, managed by PTRC is located 3.4km from BD3 which is, coincidentally, the depth of injection into the storage formation. We saw at Aquistore that the footprint of storage is minimal and there is little effect on the environment from storing CO2 in formations deep underground.

Not only did students have a jam-packed week of lectures and learnings on the field trip, but they were also tasked with group work throughout the week, which culminated in a morning of presentations on Friday. From dating show-themed discussions to a mini-movie, they covered all bases in terms of creativity whilst presenting their answers to the problems we set! The winning group for the best presentation was group 5, who looked at whether CCS will be required as part of a sustainable, low-carbon hydrogen economy. The best poster award was given to Anna Mas Herrador (Spain) In addition to the award for the best presentation, the three most outstanding students were chosen – well done to Jessica Dyson (Australia), Kyra McRitchie (Canada) and Eadbhard Pernot (Germany) for their hard work and diligence throughout the week!

Throughout the week we also received significant press coverage from Canadian news outlets including CTV News, Global News, CBC, and Pipe Online which is clearly reflective of the growing understanding of the importance of CCUS technologies as part of the Net Zero transition.

IEAGHG would like to thank the hosts of this year’s Summer School, the International CCS Knowledge Centre, for another fantastic event held at the University of Regina campus, and with special thanks to Mandy Selzer and Jennie Avram for their incredibly hard work throughout 2023 in pulling this all together. In addition, we’d like to thank the IEAGHG Summer School Series sponsors for their ongoing support of the Series – UK DESNZ, Shell, TotalEnergies, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Gassnova, and ExxonMobil. Finally, thank you to this year’s local sponsors – the University of Regina, Emissions Reduction Alberta, Boilermakers, Heidelberg Material, Innovation Saskatchewan, Graham, MHI, Whitecap Resources Inc., PTRC, and SaskPower. Without this support, this event would not have been possible.

And last but not least, a big thank you to the speakers and expert mentors who committed their time for the week and to all 32 students who attended for their enthusiasm, dedication, good humour and hard work throughout the week. Well done to you all! 

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