September 5, 2019
Contact: Alec Gerlach, GerlachA@c2es.org, 703-516-0621
Creating Markets for the Use of Captured Carbon
Report Points to Policies Needed by 2030 to Seed Carbon Capture Tech
WASHINGTON—A new report emphasized today the need for investment and policies to support markets for the use of captured carbon. The report, by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), identifies policy changes needed over the coming decade to grow a diverse mix of markets for captured carbon dioxide.
While carbon dioxide captured from power plants and industrial facilities is already used for enhanced oil recovery, C2ES’s report explores less common practices that hold great potential, including use in construction materials, fuels, chemicals, plastics, and algae-based products. Once developed and deployed, such uses could drive significant greenhouse gas reductions.
Carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) is among the suite of critical technologies needed to avoid dangerous atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted that without CCUS, the costs of decarbonizing economies will be significantly higher.
“What we need now is an all hands on deck effort to accelerate innovation in these carbon utilization technologies,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “The capture and use of carbon dioxide can and will be economical in a number of ways. But we need the policy structures to support it.”
The report identifies 2030 as the year by which policies should target growth of carbon utilization, noting that commercials forces may not drive continued growth if markets have not developed by then. The levels of technology and commercial readiness differ so widely from sector to sector, no single policy reform offers a “silver bullet.” The report identifies:
- Near-term policies funding research and development and project financing;
- Mid-term actions to expand carbon dioxide transportation pipelines and state adoption of clean energy standards; and
- A need for policymakers at all levels to enact a portfolio of policies in the long term to contribute to economic development and greenhouse gas reduction.
The report’s recommendations include broad possibilities for policy, determining that federal action is not alone sufficient. States and local governments may be in the best position to tailor policies that address their specific circumstances.