The Danish authorities has awarded licenses to 3 firms to retailer carbon dioxide underneath the seabed, as a step in the direction of its goal of turning into carbon adverse by 2050.
Fossil gasoline firms Whole, Ineos and Wintershall DEA will attempt to retailer hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide within the sandstone of outdated oil and fuel reservoirs within the North Sea.
Danish setting minister Lars Aagaard stated: “This is not just a step towards a new green industry in our North Sea – it’s a milestone for our green transition.”
To start out with, the businesses will retailer carbon dioxide which has been captured from industrial sources like cement and metal firms and energy vegetation.
By offsetting emissions, this may assist Denmark attain internet zero – when it emits no extra greenhouse gases than it sucks up.
The federal government can also be funding analysis into direct air seize, the place carbon dioxide is sucked out of the air reasonably than from smokestacks. In principle, this may result in adverse emissions.
In December, the Danish authorities moved its internet zero goal from 2050 to 2045 and added a brand new goal to scale back emissions by 110% between 1990 and 2050.
Mattias Söderberg, chief local weather adviser on the DanChurchAid marketing campaign group, informed Local weather Residence: “In a long perspective it is good if Denmark can become carbon negative. That will be needed, to keep CO2 in the atmosphere on a sustainable level. However, that is a long term approach, and Denmark should still focus on how to reduce emissions in the coming years.”
Denmark has among the highest historic emissions per individual on the earth. Its authorities is main a push for international locations to cease producing fossil fuels.
Costly technique to clear up
In accordance with the Intergovermental Panel on Local weather Change’s (IPCC), it’s costlier to keep away from emissions by way of capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CCS) reasonably than investing in renewables or switching to electrical autos. However CCS is a technique to cut back emissions from sectors that are arduous to scrub up – like metal, cement and chemical compounds.
In 2022, the IPCC stated capturing and storing a ton of CO2 prices between $50 and $100. Even at this excessive worth, some lecturers assume it’s price it.
Whereas the US authorities at the moment says that every tonne of carbon dioxide does $51 of injury to society, a current research in Nature journal put the determine at round $185 price of injury to society, making investing in CCS worth for cash in comparison with not doing so.
As delivery the fuel is dear, storing it onshore is usually cheaper however extra politically controversial as native communities are more likely to object to the pipelines and drilling.
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A spokesperson for Ineos informed Local weather Residence the corporate weren’t making public the estimated price of storing the CO2. He stated carbon seize and storage was at an early stage of improvement and the corporate was working to deliver the prices down.
In December 2020, the Danish authorities allotted DKK197 million ($25m) to the event and demonstration of CO2 storage within the North Sea.
The federal government needs the three tasks to retailer 13 million tons of carbon dioxide a 12 months from 2030 onwards. It estimates its depleted North Sea oilfields might retailer 22 billion tons in complete, equal to over 500 years price of Denmark’s present emissions.
Direct air seize
The prices of extracting carbon dioxide from the air, reasonably than from a smokestack, are even increased and the expertise at an excellent earlier stage.
It’s costlier as a result of the air is much less polluted and due to this fact extra vitality is required to suck out the identical quantity of carbon dioxide.
Scientists have estimated the price at wherever between $60 a ton and $1,000 a ton, with much less proof on the cheaper finish.
With the world on track to heat up by greater than 1.5C, the IPCC’s scientists predict that carbon removing is more likely to be obligatory to scale back world warming, significantly within the second half of the century.