Carbon capture curiosity and the conversations that come of it

–  by Paul Everingham

There are few topics in the energy world that prompt as much curiosity and spark as much discussion as carbon capture and storage (CCS). 

For people who aren’t closely involved in the energy and manufacturing industries, there’s a natural urge to wrap their heads around how the basics of CCS work. In many cases, their only exposure to CCS might have been through media reporting. 

Stakeholders in government and other industries have a different type of curiosity. They usually understand the scientific principles behind CCS but they are interested to know how far away the technology is from widespread use, what has to be put in place to make that happen and then how it can support their decarbonisation ambitions. These were all topics of conversation when ANGEA recently hosted a CCS workshop in Indonesia, in collaboration with the Global CCS Institute and featuring key government, energy and industry officials.

Meanwhile, people who work in CCS usually have another reason to talk about it. Quite understandably, they want the opportunity to explain the groundbreaking area they are working in and what it might mean for one of humanity’s biggest challenges: reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the targets set under the Paris Agreement. 

The Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) aims to capture – an appropriate word! – a bit of all of the above in a recently-published CCS Whitepaper. 

ANGEA CCS Whitepaper

Click HERE to download our new carbon capture and storage whitepaper for Asia.

The whitepaper has been contributed to by the breadth of ANGEA’s membership, large global energy companies covering the entire gas supply chain who are at the forefront of international efforts to create low-carbon energy solutions for the future. 

For the non-industry readers, the whitepaper contains enough background information to develop an understanding of the history of CCS and also an appreciation for why it is such important technology for tomorrow’s world. Some of our members have been using CCS for 40 years, so it’s been a long journey to get here. 

For stakeholders in government and other industries, our aim is that the whitepaper is a valuable resource that will help trigger further conversation. The document contains reference points from the International Energy Agency and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and explores what must happen from a regulatory and legal perspective to create CCS value chains in Asia. 

Meanwhile, for the people already working in CCS, I hope it’s another signal of how much the energy community recognises the significance of their field of expertise. 

The reality, as the whitepaper explains, is that there are no practical pathways to achieving net zero that don’t involve substantial investment in CCS. This is particularly the case for Asia, which will experience a massive increase in energy demand over the next 30 years. 

The whitepaper addresses one of the most common questions people from a range of backgrounds ask about CCS – “can CO2 be stored safely and securely underground?” – and examines the cost-effectiveness of the technology, including what more can be done to make it as price-competitive as possible. 

One of the aspects of CCS that most excites me, which is also highlighted in the whitepaper, is its ability to create new industries that will span borders and make enormous contributions to communities in Asia, including job-creation. Malaysia has been particularly active to date with its aspirations to become a CCS hub.

Whether you’re talking about decarbonising power generation, capturing point-source emissions from major industrial clusters, or unlocking new economic opportunities across the region, there is plenty to like about CCS and its prospects in Asia. 

There is also plenty of work to be done in both developing technology and creating the frameworks it will need to succeed. 

We hope our CCS Whitepaper promotes the types of healthy conversations that can help turn potential into reality. 

Paul Everingham is the inaugural CEO of the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA), which works with governments, society and industry throughout Asia to build effective and integrated energy policies that meet each country’s climate objectives.