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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Jasmin cropWe recently published an article on biomass with CCS (bio-CCS or BECCS) in the journal of the Institution of Environmental Scientists (IES). The February issue “The Energy Trilemma” provides a detailed look at the energy mix in the UK and how legal reform and international policies will affect energy production in the future, with case studies on renewable energy generation initiatives across the UK.

In our article, we summarise the findings of IEAGHG’s recent studies on the global potential of bio-CCS and the accounting of negative emissions. Bio-CCS is one of the few negative emissions technologies because capture and long-term storage of the CO2 emissions from biomass combustion and decay effectively result in net removal of atmospheric CO2. Potential benefits include compensation for historical emissions and the ability to reduce the overall costs of climate change mitigation.

Bio- CCS shows significant potential to reduce GHG emissions by 2050. The main drivers, or barriers, are the price of CO2 and the price and availability of sustainable biomass. Setting an incentive or a reward for bio-CCS remains a task for policy-makers, and it will be a complex and challenging one. If policy-makers and regulators do not accurately address sustainability concerns, like land use change, the credibility of negative emissions claims could suffer, especially as bioenergy crops are competing for land with food production and for storage resources with other CCS technologies.

Download the journal on the IES website

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