Deployment of bio-CCS: case studies
Substantial amounts of ‘negative emission’ initiatives (= extracting CO2 from the atmosphere) may be required if global climate change is to be limited to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as is the ambition of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Among the different negative emissions options available, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage or utilisation, also referred to as bio-CCS/CCU or BECCUS, is arguably one of the most commonly discussed in climate policy debates.
The IEA Bioenergy project “Deployment of Bio-CCS/CCU Value Chains” strives to provide insights about the opportunities and challenges pertaining to taking Bio-CCS/CCU from pilots to full-scale projects. Case studies provide deeper insights into the key aspects that come into play for companies that are in the process of setting up value chains for capture, transportation and sequestration or utilization of biogenic CO2. A first set of case studies has been finalized, focused on integrating CCS in central biomass based heat and/or power production:
- Biomass based combined heat and power (CHP) – HOFOR Amager CHP, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Bioelectricity – Drax Power Station, United Kingdom
- Waste-to-Energy – Fortum Oslo Varme (FOV), Oslo, Norway
In many cities and towns in the Nordic region, biomass-based combined heat & power stations play a central role in urban energy systems, producing both electricity and district heat. However, several biomass CHPs are now also looking into opportunities from bio-CCUS, one of them being HOFOR in Copenhagen, Denmark. While HOFOR is fairly confident about the technological readiness of the CO2 capture component of deploying bio-CCUS at its Amager facility, there are still questions regarding whether the captured CO2 should be sequestered or used as raw material for e.g., synthetic aviation fuels. Developing business models and getting strong long-term policy signals will be key for project deployment.
Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire in England is the world’s largest generator of bioelectricity. Its parent company, Drax Group plc has a stated ambition to become a carbon-negative company by 2030, and are in the process of investigating and piloting the setup of a bio-CCS value chain. Drax do not see any major technological obstacles to full-scale deployment of the CO2 capture phase, but several building blocks remain that need to come into place for the full value chain to be deployed. Key among these are transport & storage infrastructure and public policy that incentivizes companies to produce negative emissions.
Norway is seeing plenty of activity in the CCS space, both in the form of the development of a transport & offshore storage infrastructure project called Northern Lights, and in the form of point source capture projects. One of the projects currently under development is run by Fortum Oslo Varme (FOV), which is planning to deploy CCS at its waste-to-energy facility in Oslo. The facility is Oslo’s largest single source of GHG emissions and it is imperative to address these to meet the city’s ambition to reduce its GHG emissions by 95% in the period 2009-2030. Over the last 5-year period FOV has done a series of pilot tests in capturing CO2 with promising results. Provided that the project receives financial support for about half the total cost from the EU Innovation Fund (with the other half coming from the Norwegian government), the plan is to have the facility operational by 2026-2027.