Carbon capture and storage—reality or still a dream?


by Stephen Bygrave

To have any chance of avoiding dangerous climate change we’ll have to reduce the carbon emissions from our energy sectors—currently the largest human source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. And we’ll have to do it quickly.


High cost—for what gain?

So why use CO2 to retrieve oil at all? One reason is to offset to considerable costs of retrofitting the coal power station, and countering the 21% drop in power output.

The essential goal behind CCS is to preserve capital assets while transitioning to zero carbon emissions. But this argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.


It must be questioned why infrastructure which entails such significant external costs would be adhered to so determinedly, even if CCS could be proved as a slightly commercial proposition.

When it’s clear that CCS is not even close to a commercial prospect and when net CO2 emissions may actually increase when combined with oil recovery we must accept reality and swiftly move on to proven and affordable solutions to reducing such as , energy efficiency and reforestation to name but a few.

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