4 BECCS Projects

4.1 Project list scope

The list of BECCS projects compiled in this study is restricted to dedicated biomass facilities. Whether included in current planning or not, most coal and natural gas power facilities with CCS could substitute some or all of the fossil fuel feedstock with biomass fuels. Thus, a list of all potential BECCS projects would include most CCS projects, as almost all of them could include a BECCS component. In some cases this would induce major modifications, but there is a large potential for partial so called co-firing of biomass and coal in power stations, as an example.

Potential rates of biomass co-firing vary, but are typically in the range of 10-30 %, depending on the site specific modifications needed. This could be a route to have significant amounts of biotic CO2 stored geologically, in a setting where scale of operations would be better than in the normally smaller sized biomass facilities. To achieve higher co-firing rates, the power plants may need extensive modifications, and there may be difficulties in some regions to source enough biomass locally to match the demand of large co-firing rates.

A number of planned CCS projects include co-firing of coal and biomass, for example in the EU demonstration programme and in the efforts led by the US Department of Energy.

4.2 BECCS project classification

Projects with the scale and complexity of BECCS operations undergo several stages before they can commence operations. Indeed, many projects never reach the operational phase due to lack of funding, or challenges in meeting regulatory and other critical requirements.

In order to assess the maturity of projects, the Global CCS Institute has adopted a five stage classification system. For each stage the project gets closer to realization. In the first stages, “Identify”, “Evaluate” and “Define”, the project is assessed in greater and greater detail. In the “Execute” stage, the project infrastructure is constructed. Injection of CO2 takes place in the final stage “Operate”.

Pilot and research projects may also have reached their stated goals and be “Completed”, and are in those cases no longer injecting CO2. This is the case for one small scale EOR research pilot, which sourced its CO2 from an ethanol facility. Four projects reached various maturity stages, but have been cancelled.

In addition to project maturity, projects can be classified by scale of operations, feedstock, storage type, CO2 capture technology, transport type, overall project cost, per tonne cost, and a number of other key factors.

4.3 BECCS projects map and list

Figure 15 World map with global BECCS projects overview