The 2023 CCUS Forum – Aalborg, Denmark

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By Nicola Clarke

30 November 2023

The 2023 CCUS Forum has concluded in Aalborg, Denmark, co-hosted by the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energies and Utilities (27th-28th November 2023). Attended by over 450 people from 30 countries and streamed online. The Forum was attended by Crown Prince Fredrick of Denmark.

Over the two days, there were three keynote speeches, and 10 panel discussions ranging from CO2 specifications, storage capacity, infrastructure, implementing industrial carbon strategies, derisking projects to make them bankable, and gaining social licence on projects.In addition, there were several new studies presented including the IEA report of CCUS Policies and Business Models, and CO2 transport network modelling results by the Joint Research Centre.

In the concluding statements, Edith Hofer of DG Ener distilled the two-day event into a series of draft conclusions which included underlining the role of international cooperation and knowledge sharing, which is something that IEAGHG is pleased to facilitate in many of its activities.

The Forum called on the European Commission to publish the Industrial Carbon Management Strategy in the first quarter of 2024 and welcomed the contribution to develop individual National carbon management strategies.

The Forum reiterated the need for speedy deployment of CCS, CCU and carbon removal technologies to reach EU climate goals, and especially climate neutrality by 2050.

They welcomed the Commission’s announcement to launch the knowledge-sharing project network to initiate work on common CO2 standards for transport infrastructure and launch a CCUS observatory on cement and waste incineration plants

They praised the European Commission in setting up a coordinated mechanism to plan new infrastructure, and include repurposing of existing oil and gas infrastructure.

They welcomed the adoption of the new Projects of Common/Mutual Interest (PCI/PMI list) – with 14 of this infrastructure.

They welcomed the signing of the Aalborg Declaration signed by Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden.

They praised the work of the working groups of the Forum on the industrial initiative on CO2 infrastructure and public awareness. And endorsed papers issued by the three working groups. Agreed to continue the working group on CO2 infrastructure (including an expert group on standards) and public awareness working group.And recommended creating a Forum working group on CCU.

They praised the Commission’s initiative to include CCS in the Net Zero Industry Act and called on the co-legislators to reach the swift adoption of the regulation– stressing the positive impact of including Norway and the UK for the availability of storage capacity.

They recognised the Innovation Fund for supporting large-scale projects. They welcomed the new IEA report on CCS business models.

They called on the EU and Member States for more funding and derisking mechanisms to make carbon management projects more bankable.

They stressed the need for targeted subsidies and coordinated permitting processes to deploy projects on time.

They encouraged proactive storage exploration and deployment as this part has the longest led time in the value chain. Called on Members States to step up their efforts to explore their own potential.

The Forum called on the Commission to continue their work on a fit for purpose EU regulatory framework for transport based on transparent and non discriminatory access conditions, in this context it stressed the need to avoid stifling the nascent carbon market. It underlined the role of the Forum as a consultation platform in this process.

They stressed the urgency to set common CO2 quality standards to enable the functioning of an EU wide interoperable CO2 transport market. Underlined the need to support capture projects located away from industrial hubs without the means to connect to CO2 transport and storage options.

They called on the Commission to include biogenic CO2 emission into the ETS, to incentivise the creation of an industrial carbon removals market and to address the issue of possible double counting.

The Forum stressed the importance of CCU and the need to improve the business case of some projects. Underlined the issue of permanence as regards binding in some products.

They asked the Commission, Member States and project developers to step up increasing public awareness of industrial carbon management and including benefits for local communities.

They underlined the role of international cooperation and knowledge sharing, and welcomed the launch of the Carbon Management Challenge enhancing global cooperation and invited more countries to subscribe to its objectives.

Finally, there is a need to involve industrial stakeholders more to enable more EU wide coordination to optimise project timelines and cost. Called on the Commission to include a strong mechanism for public private cooperation in the Industrial Carbon Management Strategy taking into account existing structures.

These conclusions will be amended and ratified after consultation.

Anders Hoffmann, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Danish Ministry of Climate concluded the meeting with a word of thanks and some concluding remarks. His why, how and what?Why? We need CCUS to meet our climate goals, we can’t solve the problem just with energy efficiency and renewables. How? People, public and private. By developing the market by regulating, it’s not perfect but it’s a start. He asked that we remember the whole the value chain, and by coordinating across countries – we can’t solve this at country level alone. Also, it’s important to distinguish CCU and CCS. Finally what? We need to create winners and do it fast, we need pipelines, we need to scale up, with bankable projects And we need more countries to sign the Aalborg Declaration.

The next Forum 2024 with be co-hosted by the French Ministry for Energy Transition in Pau. 

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