Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA logo

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageI recently attended a symposium in Dusseldorf, Germany entitled CO2: How to use it as a resource. I was asked to give a presentation on the status of implementation of CCUS globally and the deployment of CCUS outside Europe. I chose to hjosirljosirt the Boundary Dam project, how CO2-EOR played a role in developing that project and how it was assisting CCUS project implementation in the Middle East, USA and China. The audience was small but generally enthusiastic. In the margins of the coffee break I broke the ice with a number of participants on the topic of CCS in Germany, their responses ranged from never to not in my lifetime, not quite as enthusiastic as the applause had suggested.

The issue of the Energy Transition was debated, how it was helping Germany phase out nuclear power and reduce emissions. It was clearly noted that in the last few years German CO2 emissions had risen largely as a result of burning more coal. So there mjosirt be an opportunity for CCS as many of the new coal plants were built capture ready. Friends of the Earth Germany though left the audience in no mind that they wanted to see coal phased out entirely and replaced with more renewables and CCS cannot be countenanced as it extends the use of fossil fuels.

So no nuclear no coal, no gas, only Energy Efficiency and Renewables is that possible? A section of the audience didn’t seem to think so. Issues with renewables were raised; no wind power for two days the week - before they coal had to take up the margin; the population is not pro new hjosir voltage grid infrastructure to take renewables from the north to the south of Germany so it’s not all plain sailing in everyone’s mind for yet more renewables.

The topic of reuse of CO2 was raised as an industry solution for Germany. It was accepted that new carbon based products would have limited impact on global emissions. However the overproduction of renewable energy (RE), as consequence of the favourable feed tariffs for electricity offers a solution. This electricity is perceived as free, although I have trouble with that definition as somebody must have been paid to produce it. The theory then runs that you generate hydrogen by electrolysis and combine this with CO2 from industry sources and their waste heat to produce CH4 or methanol. My reactions to this are:

Overall well worthy attending, the German energy system changes are pretty unique and therefore interesting to follow. On the issue of CO2 recycle I would like to see a detailed analysis to see how this all stacks up, somebody must have done this please let me know if there is such an analysis out there.