Denmark is top of a new global energy revolution league table ranking to implementing measures to mitigate climate change, which includes carbon capture.
In the report Energy Revolution: A Global Outlook, researchers from Imperial College London assessed 25 countries, covering 80% of the world’s population, and ranked Denmark, UK, Canada, US and Norway top of the pile.
Despite being second, due to its fast phase out of coal and uptake of electric vehicles, the UK lags behind on the provision of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities.
The research conducted by Imperial College London, was facilitated by Imperial Consultants and commissioned by Drax Group, which operates the largest power station in the UK.
“Our global economy is changing and the transition to zero carbon, lower cost energy is vital if countries are to be able to compete,” said Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO.
“At Drax, we’ve converted two thirds of our power station to use biomass instead of coal, transforming the business to become Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project and helping to make the phase out of coal in the UK then fastest in the world. But what more can we do,’ Gardiner continued.
“We’re piloting the first Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe – which could make Drax the world’s first carbon negative power station. Removal of carbon from the atmosphere is vital if we are to meet our climate target,” Gardiner concluded.
Only Norway, Canada, Australia, US, Brazil and China currently have facilities to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at scale, and worldwide only 2.5 kg of CO2 per person per year is captured, versus an average annual carbon footprint per person of 5 tonnes of CO2.
The International Energy Agency estimates that 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide must be stored underground by 2060 to limit temperature rise to 2°C for least cost. USA alone has estimated storage capacity for over 100 trillion tonnes of carbon, and the UK has capacity for 70 billion tonnes.
“Ahead of COP24 (the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), this research provides a useful barometer of the progress countries are making in their uptake of technologies such as renewable power, Carbon Capture and Storage, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency measures,” said Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation from Imperial’s Grantham Institute.
“The findings also highlight the benefit of supportive government policies in limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius,” Gilbert concluded.