Final Report Shows: CCS - No Silver Bullet for Climate Protection

For the first time, an in-depth integrated assessment analyses the overall effects of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in electricity and hydrogen generation and compares them to renewable energies.

  • Publications 08.03.2007

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - so called low-carbon power plant - are increasingly discussed on scientific and political levels as a future element for climate protection. Some players put great hope in CCS since it promises to sustain the use of fossile energy carriers - in particular CO2 intense coal - for further decades under climate protection aspects. However, CCS technologies will not be viable on a large scale before 2020.

 

Numerous studies and research projects have been conducted on national and international levels. They particularly looked into single elements of the process chain (e.g. capture of CO2 in the power plant) or into details (e.g. membrane technologies). Overall system analysis and assessment of the whole process chain (consisting of CO2 capture, liquefaction, transport and storage) as well as an ecological, economic and infrastructural perspective and the comparison with renewable energies have not been undertaken so far. The RECCS study challenges these problems. An important component is the life-cycle assessment of CCS power plants that was carried out for the very first time in this study. Moreover, it is analysed from the energy economic perspective how CCS can contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in Germany. Therefore, three scenarios for different climate protection paths were calculated which either mainly (CCSMAX) or additionally (BRIDGE) base on CCS as climate protection instrument or don't use CCS at all to reach climate protection targets (NATP). Finally, the global significance of CCS is researched as well as the decisive factors, which can either have positive or negative effects on the potential development of CCS.

 

The study was jointly conducted by the Wuppertal Institute, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).