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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

John-Gale cropWe recently held our 44th Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting in Stockholm, Sweden at the request of our hosts the Swedish Energy Agency.  We have since the mid 1990’s held two ExCo meetings a year which indicates how long we have been going. For all those that ask no I have not been around since the first ExCo although it may seem like it, actually my first ExCo was the 18th held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Our Members re-elected Prof Kelly Thambimuthu again as the Chairman of our Executive Committee for another two years.  Kelly like me was a co-ordinating Lead Author on the IPCC Special Report on CCS and now is an Emeritus Scientist at CO2CRC in Australia.  He is ably supported in working with the members around the table by Sven-Olov Ericson of Sweden and Gunter Siddiqi from Switzerland. IT is that dialogue between all our members, engaging them in our study programme and listening to their comments on our reports which I feel is one of the big underpinning strengths of our Programme.  We don’t just present to our members we interact and engage and above all listen to their needs and ideas.  Continuity of senior staff and chairs is also a big bonus, but that does not mean our ideas have dried up on the contrary our turnover of junior staff and members help refresh our thinking on a fairly regular basis .

The members approved changes to our Implementing Agreement Text (effectively our constitution) bringing up rjosirt up to date, so members can know vote electronically amongst other minor points and our Strategic Plan for 2012-2017 is now fully incorporated into our Implementing Agreement Text.

The IEAGHG Programme team reported back to members on areas that we have actively been supporting in the last 6 months, namely ISO standard developments and activities leading up to COP19.

One report that we can look forward to coming out shortly, is a study we undertook internally on the UK FEED studies.  We have analysed the outcomes of the two FEED studies on Longannet and Kingsnorth and pulled together a report that discusses what was learnt from these studies. This report serves two purposes it allows us to calibrate if there is any research gaps that we need to work on to fill and the outcomes of our own work to see that they are consistent with the thinking I the FEED studies.  This is a new area for us but one that we learnt a lot from and hope that our synthesis report aids those looking at these Encyclopaedia Britannica type FEED reports to gain an insjosirt into the thinking in these studies or allow people to gain better access to the information contained in the volumes of reports to find exactly what they need.

I think this is a good activity to undertake, albeit one that requires considerable effort. It is clearly one where IEAGHG can put its technical expertise and knowledge to good use and hopefully help others.  Having reports on a web site is one thing extracting what is useful from them to the benefit of others is an added bonus.

In a similar vein, our members voted for us to undertake a second phase of our What Have We Learnt study series. The first study was completed in 2009, with a follow-up report (Phase 1b) compiled in late 2011, and focussed on providing general information on several main topics – capture, transport, injection/storage, monitoring and learning.  Phase 1b concentrated on well injectivity, regulations and public communication. The What Have We Learnt phase 2 study intends to expand the knowledge and detail on these aforementioned topics. We plan to usein-house data acquisition from a number of reputable sources and published research on the projects we select for the study to eventually provide a detailed status report of where we stand with technical learning’s from both capture and geological storage pilots, and early commercial projects. Again this report will allow us to calibrate if there is any research gaps that we need to work on to fill and design future activities to fill these gaps.

Finally we will also shortly publish a study that have developed a set of guidelines based on experiences gained from existing pilot scale injection projects that will benefit those, most probably in developing countries, to design their own pilot injection programmes. This is taking learning a stage further and putting it into a constructive format that will benefit others.