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EU Carbon Capture Project A Massive Financial Failure


By —— Bio and Archives--November 20, 2017

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EU Carbon Capture Project A Massive Financial Failure
Ten years ago EU leaders said that a technology called carbon capture and sequestration, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS) should be deployed with new fossil-fuel power plants by 2020. 1

This technology supposedly would reduce the negative impact the extensive use of energy sources coal, oil and gas have on the earth’s climate.

EU has now spent at least 587 million euros in grants, subsidies, and public procurement on CCS

Brussels also said the EU would have twelve demonstration plants of sustainable fossil fuel technologies in commercial power generation operating by 2015.

With tongue in cheek Joanne Nova describes the process: “Carbon capture aims to stuff a harmless fertilizer underground in order to change the weather. With CCS, the hard part is deciding which obstacles is the most stupidly unachievable. One ton of solid coal generates nearly three tons of CO2 in a puffy, fluffy expanded gas form. It doesn’t take a genius to know it won’t fit back into the same hole., and even if you get it down there, it may not stay there. The gas has to be compressed or refrigerated (or both). Underground holes are hot. Not surprisingly, this takes a lot of energy. 2

The EU has now spent at least 587 million euros in grants, subsidies, and public procurement on CCS, but as of 2017, the EU has zero CCS demonstration plants.1

CCS artificially raises the costs of coal fired power in two ways:

  1. It raises the initial construction cost for any new large scale coal fired plant by around 60%.
  2. The CCS process is hugely energy intensive, consuming up to 40% of the electricity generated by the plant. So the plant can only sell 60% of the actual power it produces. 3

 

Practically no one would spend their own money on it. The geniuses planning it thought the carbon price would rise from 30 euros to 100 euros which would make it feasible. Instead the carbon credit price fell to seven, and that’s only after the EU propped it up. 2

The architect of the scheme admitted this was because officials bungled their predictions for the environmental costs facing businesses. 4

As Joanne Nova aptly says, “You can’t make this stuff up. CCS is the threat that makes coal stations unaffordable in the west. It takes a really big government to waste money on a scale like this.” 2

References

  1. Peter Teffer, “After spending 587 million euros, EU has zero CO2 storage plants,” euobserver.com, October 6, 2017
  2. Joanne Nova, “EU blow 520 million euros on carbon capture project that stored no carbon,” joannenova.com, November 9, 2017
  3. Joanne Nova, “Wait ‘til you see these numbers on carbon capture and storage,” joannenova.com, July 27, 2015
  4. Anthony Watts, “The EU blows $683 million (520 million euros) on a carbon capture project that captured nothing!”, wattsupwiththat.com, November 9, 2017


Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.

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