Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an energy transition technology allowing the continued use of fossil fuels but removing the emissions form their combustion. Used properly CCS will enable high-energy industries and high emissions industries, time to develop low carbon alternatives to burning coal, oil or gas. However, capturing carbon and geostoring it is energy intensive and hence has a cost. First generation capture technology, retrofitted to conventional power stations in which CO2 emerges as dilute, low-pressure flue gas pay a 30% energy penalty for the capture and burial of the CO2. This penalty will reduce with new generation capture, especially when fitted to pre-combustion or oxy-fuel power stations and other industrial plants but it will never be zero – the second law of thermodynamics dictates that.
Currently, humanity captures and geostores about 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year while it releases to the atmosphere about 36 giga tonnes per year. Geostorage of CO2 is no more a technical challenge than producing petroleum and the petroleum industry has already demonstrated this in CO2 enhanced oil recovery, a process that was first tried in Hungary back in the 1950s and which today sees in excess of 50 million tonnes of CO2 injected into oilfields each year.
The aim of this conference is to explore how best to develop large scale geostorage of CO2. Prospective contributors should consider one or more of the following questions in preparation of their submission:
- What needs to happen to create a substantial and sustainable CCS industry?
- Who pays for carbon storage'?
- Is CO2 enhanced oil and gas recovery a Segway to carbon geostorage?
- What are the options for low-cost, long term monitoring of geostored CO?