This article is part of a five-part series to be delivered by gasworld this week in the lead-up to World Environment Day 2021, taking place on Saturday 5th June.

The drive for sustainability and the clean energies transition has never been more important, while the level of awareness and calls to action has arguably never been more prominent.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) are today being seen as key technologies that will help drive such transition as the world looks to pursue a green recovery as we rebuild from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In fact, just last year the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggested that if the world is to meet the Paris Agreement and all energy-related sustainable development goals, roughly 2,000 carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities need to be operating by 2040, delivering 7% of cumulative emissions reductions.

The CCS process involves three major steps: capturing CO2 at the source, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep into a rock formation at a carefully selected and safe site, where it is permanently stored.

But despite its global recognition as a vital technology in the climate change battle, market uptake for CCS has been slow: and back in May 2020, IEA told gasworld that were only 51 large-scale CCS facilities globally – 19 in operation, four under construction and 28 in various stages of development.

Read more: Gamechanging CCS technology in the climate change battle, C-Capture talks to gasworld

Although May 2020 may not seem like long ago, the momentum behind CCS technologies has grown tremendously, and today gasworld is noticing a huge uptake in the number of carbon capture projects that are being developed around the world, for various industries.

As a result of various announcements and funding made available, it could be argued that the US is one of the main hotspots for CCUS. With the likes of Chart, Linde, and the US Department of Energy (DOE) now throwing support behind the technology things are really starting to take off. 

Alongside these major players, there are now bills being put in place to boost carbon capture infrastructure in states. Elaborating on this, back in March, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and US Representatives Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) yesterday (17th March) unveiled the Storing CO2 and Lower Emissions (SCALE) Act. 

Set to provide the federal support needed to kick-start a CO2 transport and storage infrastructure build-out over the next decade, the SCALE Act has ambitious targets to “get the US back on track”.

Thought to create more than 13,000 jobs per year, the bill will help develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure as a critical means of reducing emissions of CO2, while creating regional economic opportunities.

Read more: Bipartisan group unveils CO2 infrastructure bill

Across the waters to the UK, and the Government is also supporting CCS technologies, with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating that the significant role that carbon capture and storage (CCS) will play in a green industrial revolution.

In November, the Prime Minister proposed an extra £200m of new funding to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030 to help place the UK at the global forefront of CCUS.

At the time, it was said that the new capital dedicated to CCUS increases the total invested to £1bn, benefiting regions with industries that are particularly difficult to decarbonise and supporting up to 50,000 jobs.

Rallying behind all of these efforts, and really pushing the good word out for CCS is the Global CCS Institute, who last month announced its membership had reached 100 members, marking yet another great milestone for the technology.

Speaking at the time, Global CCS Institute CEO, Brad Page, said, “The recent growth in our membership reflects the expanding commitments of governments and businesses around the world to deep decarbonisation.”

“Despite all the challenges of the last 18 months, our members have demonstrated their unflagging support for climate action, for CCS, and for the work of the Institute.”

gasworld’s five-part series to celebrate World Environment Day continues tomorrow, when LNG will be in focus. Keep an eye out!