The EU aims to have eight CO2 capture and storage facilities ready in just four years. Norway’s plans are still in the pipeline.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s government aim four years ago was to be first across the world’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) finish line. The Mongstad gas power plant facility was characterised as being the Coalition’s so-called “moon landing” (månelanding).
However, a succession of pushbacks has now meant the EU will probably be first into space. Eight CCS tenders have been put out by the European Commission for completion in 2015, with four more on the way in just two years from now.
300 emission quotas were earmarked as a result of the EU’s 2009 CCS Directive. A maximum of approximately 7.25 billion euro (equivalent to about 56 billion kroner) will finance up to half the construction costs of CCS facilities in member countries. Industry or the countries themselves will pay the rest.
“It’s very positive that the EU shares our view that carbon capture and storage is an important contribution to counteracting climate change. Nothing would be better than if it manages this within the timeframe it has set itself,” Labour’s (Ap) Deputy Petroleum and Energy Minister (State Secretary) Per Rune Henriksen tells Aftenposten.
Minister Henriksen goes on to say Mongstad’s test facility is showing good progress and is on track.
“We shall be presenting our suggestion to Parliament about how it plans to solve the challenges associated with building a full-scale CCS facility at Mongstad in the New Year.”
Environmentalists are displeased with Norway’s delays, however. Bellona leader Frederic Hauge, who is also Vice Chairman of the European Technology Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP), says the EU wishes to pursue a more cost-effective way of coordinating European CCS.
The EU has decided to concentrate on coal-fired power stations, as Norway was engaged in gas power stations, such as Mongstad.
“Apart from Mongstad’s test facility, this means we will not be able to coordinate Norway’s solutions with the EU’s. If it had known about the delays, then the EU would probably also have included gas power stations. It’s a scandal Norway acts in this way,” Mr Hauge says.
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