Executive Summary

The IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG), on behalf of the Global CCS Institute, commissioned Geogreen to undertake a study reviewing the current global portfolio of operational and announced CO2 geological storage projects, in the context of key CCS deployment targets for 2020: 20 operational sites stipulated by the G8; and 100 operational sites as described in the 2009 IEA CCS Roadmap ‘Blue’ scenario (limiting atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 450ppm).

The Geogreen study included detailed modelling of the timescales and resources required for storage sites to achieve bankable status, whereby final investment decisions can be made in advance of site construction, commissioning and operations. Building on this analysis, the study showed that the current CCS project portfolio could allow the G8 target to be reached provided that adequate resources are made available for a large proportion of the proposed projects and that storage associated with CO2-EOR can be included.

However, the analysis also showed that the IEA Roadmap target for 2020 is effectively unattainable. Project lead times are long – up to 15 years for deep saline formation storage sites, accompanied by significant risks of project failure due to both technical (e.g. geological) and non-technical (e.g. financing, public acceptance) issues. Based on current projections and assuming adequate funding, Geogreen estimated that approximately 50 sites could be operational by 2025 or, with the inclusion of CO2-EOR projects, 100 sites by 2028. The latter will require up to 6 billion Euros of total investment to achieve the requisite number of storage bankability assessments, not including site construction and operational costs.

Hence the gap between the current global portfolio of CCS projects and roadmap deployment targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is wide, being especially stark in non-OECD countries where only a small fraction of required project numbers have been announced. In the absence of adequate funding to resource storage site exploration and incentivise CCS, this gap will continue to widen as CCS falls further behind climate science – driven targets.