A global report launched today in Abu Dhabi (UAE) finds that the only low-carbon technology option for industrial and many power applications, carbon capture and storage (CCS), is now on the cusp of widespread deployment.

The Global CCS Institute’s annual Global Status of CCS: 2014 report finds there are now 22 projects in construction or operation worldwide – a 50% increase since 2011.

The report details progress on CCS over the past year, providing a raft of recommendations for decision makers.

It found the industry is poised to move through its most active construction period to date, extending across a diverse range of sectors such as iron and steel, natural gas and power. The report also details nine CCS projects under construction, with investments totalling billions of dollars, eight of which are expected to become operational by 2016.

Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute, affirmed, “CCS in the power sector is now a reality with the world’s first large-scale CCS project operating at Boundary Dam, Canada. With eight major CCS projects anticipated to go live in a range of industries worldwide by 2016, this low-carbon technology is reaching the critical mass necessary for widespread deployment.”

“With eight major CCS projects anticipated to go live in a range of industries worldwide by 2016, this low-carbon technology is reaching the critical mass necessary for widespread deployment…”

Brad Page, Global CCS Institute

“These diverse and large-scale projects demonstrate that CCS is active, operational and viable. An important point is that the projects currently under construction are the result of visionary policy decisions made around five years ago.”

“We simply can’t have an effective response to tackling climate change without CCS. Decisions and actions are required now to lay policy, legal and infrastructure foundations for wide-scale deployment post 2020,” Page continued.

He called for “a year of action” on policy and deployment for CCS, saying, “Now is the time for decision makers to take stock of what has been achieved and build on these solid foundations so that CCS can make major contributions to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The report found there are 14 CCS projects in advanced planning stage, including nine in the power sector, expected to be in a position to make a final investment decision in 2015. Calling for financial and policy support structures to transition this portfolio of planned projects to actual projects by 2020, Page warned that CCS technology would not become widespread without policy parity with other clean technologies.

By 2016, CCS will be in operation in high carbon-emitting sectors such as chemicals and iron and steel. The world’s first commercial-scale chemical and bio-CCS plant at the Illinois Industrial CCS Project in the US plans to be operational in 2015. The Abu Dhabi CCS Project in the UAE, planned for operation in 2016, is the world’s first large-scale project in the iron and steel sector.

The report also revealed two areas requiring more attention from policy makers: the lack of CCS projects in non-OECD economies (outside of China); and the lack of progress in CCS technology development in high carbon-intensive industries such as iron and steel and cement.