ETIP Bioenergy Webinar Series 2023-2024 - #1: "Bioenergy combined with Carbon Capture and Storage - Deployment examples"
Bioenergy processes often involve the production of CO2, e.g. when combusting biomass for heat and power production, or when producing ethanol or biogas. This CO2 has formerly been removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis and bound as carbon in biomass. When the biomass is then combusted for energy or converted to a product or a gas, the carbon is released. It can be captured and geologically stored, resulting in negative carbon emissions.
Joop Hazenberg, Secretary General of the Zero Emissions Platform ZEP, provided an overview on the current status of projects on carbon capture and utilization and storage. More than 70 CCS/CCU projects are looking to become operational by 2030. Most of these projects are located around the North Sea, and the majority of them is connected to electricity or district heating production.
Joop mentioned that storage of CO2 should be used to compensate for sectors that cannot be fully decarbonized. CO2 capture is mentioned in many National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs); however, investments into capturing CO2 will only be made if storage is available as well. Geological formations in Europe can provide billion tons of storage for CO2, but efforts are still needed to develop a supportive policy framework.
Allanah Paul, CDR Research & Technology Advisor at Bellona Europe, quantified the role of carbon removal technologies: studies envisage up to 12 Gt of CO2 removed per year by 2050, with BECCS contributing some 1-4 Gt.
Constraints for deployment potential are the amount of sustainably sourced biomass that can be made available and the geological storage capacity. Biomass side-streams can provide significant CDR potential, but these represent upper ceilings of potentials, not goals. It is important to make best use of the biomass; it should be used to replace the use of fossil fuels, not other renewable energy or instead of electrification. Positive incentives should encourage capturing all easy-to-capture carbon, regardless of its origin.
Jannike Bjerkas, Director CCS and Carbon Markets in Hafslund Oslo Celsio, presented the status of the company´s CCS project at their waste-to-energy facility. She explained that methane emissions from landfills are a large contributor to GHG emissions. Waste should be avoided, materials should be reused or recycled, but some waste needs to be removed, i.e. incinerated, hereby creating CO2. This is waste CO2 that we need to get rid of.
Construction of the carbon capture facility at the Waste-to-Energy facility of Hafslund Celsio in Oslo started in August 2022, and the start-up was planned for 2028. The goal was to capture 90% of the facility´s CO2, of which about 50% is biogenic CO2. However, cost estimates increased and caused pausing of the project in March 2023. Now a new FEED study is under elaboration until next summer, when a decision will be taken. Key enablers of the project are state funding and city funding, avoided costs for fossil emissions and carbon removal certificates (estimated at 200 €/t).
Jens Fuhrmann, Head of Strategic Development BECCS at RWE Generation, explained RWE´s activities on carbon capture and storage. If the entire society needs to become carbon neutral, the energy system needs to become negative, since other sectors are hard- or not-to-abate. RWE produces sustainable electricity and heat from biomass, captures CO2 and hands it over to partners for storage; others in the value chain need to ensure the sustainable sourcing of biomass and its efficient conversion. There should be no doubts about the sustainability of the biomass used, and biorefining should ensure that biomass is put into best use before biomass goes into power.
RWE has two projects for capturing CO2 at power stations in the Netherlands. Eemshaven is only 8 years old and Amer 13 years old; both started as coal power plants and are now being repurposed to biomass. Amer shall be fully converted to run on biomass by 2025, and full capture of CO2 is planned for end of 2029.After the presentations there was some time for discussion with the audience.
Allanah Paul, Bellona