Experimental technology to capture, store and bury carbon emissions in geological formations is in line to receive a payout of as much as €1.37 billion from the EU’s energy infrastructure package, EurActiv has learned.
The funding could prove controversial as carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is an unproven technology that critics say is not commercially viable, climate-friendly or safe.
Supporters on the other hand say CCS will be crucial to reducing the global warming impact of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, on which the International Energy Agency says the world will continue to rely for decades. The European Commission has already backed the technology to the tune of €1 billion.
António Correia de Campos, the rapporteur tasked with seeing the energy infrastructure package through the European Parliament, told EurActiv that “around 10%-15%” of the €9.1 billion funding in the legislation would be spent on the technology.
“CCS is by nature under-developed and by definition this leverage will be fundamental for it,” he said.
European CCS projects have been beset by delays, despite receiving billions of euros of EU funding.
Of 12 CCS demonstration plants due to begin operation in 2015, only between four and six are now expected to be up and running by 2020.
Yet there has been little public discussion about the allocation of CCS funding in the package and renewable energy grandees said the funding made no financial or policy sense.
“How can you build an infrastructure for something that has not been implemented yet?” said Arthouros Zervos, president of the European Renewable Energy Council, an industry group. “It would be another white elephant.”
“Even the people building CCS say it won’t be commercially viable until 2030,” he added, “and if you give the money to CCS you subtract it from other electricity infrastructure projects which Europe needs urgently.”
In 2008, the International Energy Agency estimated that, every tonne of CO2 captured through CCS would cost $40-90 (€30-€68), but current carbon prices are closer to $11 (€9).
--Two CCS plants in Germany and Britain were recently cancelled, and many remaining projects are at risk, due to regulatory objections, funding shortfalls, public opposition, and questions about their contribution to mitigating climate change.
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The EU climate change madness has already cost European taxpayers billions of euros. However, the current failed EU leaders and the unelected Brussels bureaucrats, united by the fake global warming religion, could not care less. They continue wasting billions while ordinary taxpayers are suffering (also from other failed projects, like the common currency).
But the day of reckoning is getting closer, day by day.