1.1. Major objective of the study

CCS is a technology recognised by many international organizations as a key technology to mitigate CO2 emissions. For instance, in 2008, the G8 resolved to launch 20 commercial scale CCS projects worldwide by 2010 in order to demonstrate the technology. In its 2009 blue map scenario analysis and CCS roadmap, IEA estimated that 100 CCS projects are needed worldwide by 2020 and 3100 by 2050 if we want to maintain global warming below the 2°C increase target by 2100 (assuming 450 ppm). It also calculated that not using CCS as a CO2 mitigation option would mean a 70% increase of total investment to meet the above mentioned reduction target.

The availability of CO2 storage options in a timely manner for CCS projects shall drive this deployment objective. Storage exploration, as with any other geological activity, is not always successful. As such, some of the storage sites might not achieve their intended industrial scale for technical reasons. Additionally, the above mentioned deployment objectives and milestones must take into account the necessary and often uncompressible development time of such storage sites.

It is then legitimate to include such storage sites success (or failure) rates and development time to quantify the appropriate number of sites to be launched so as to meet the IEA 450ppm recommendation in 2020 and 2050. At storage site development scale, 2020 is “tomorrow”. This is the primary objective of this study that was commissioned by IEAGHG4 and Global CCS Institute.

The study then gives insights for meeting the 2050 recommendation.

Our objective is to allow policy makers to better understand:

  1. Whether a sufficient number of “bankable” storage projects exist to meet the storage needs implied by the current global commercial-scale storage deployment goals,
  2. Where the gaps exist, globally and regionally speaking, if the number of bankable sites is found to be insufficient, and
  3. How to fill such gaps through appropriate work programs (including estimated timing and costs).

4 Environmental Projects Ltd serves as the operating agent that manages the common research funds for the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (henceforth the IEAGHG)