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CARBON CAPTURE STORAGE

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CARBON CAPTURE STORAGE

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • Recently, UK government reaffirmed its support for carbon capture projects, as Britain had said it would invest $25.7 billion over the next 20 years in the technology.

MORE ABOUT THE NEWS:

  • In addition to supporting future North Sea oil and gas development, Rishi Sunak has announced that two additional carbon capture and storage projects will move forward as part of the effort to achieve net zero emissions.
  • The Acorn project in Scotland’s north-east region and the Viking project in the Humber are now receiving support as part of the government’s commitment to provide up to £20 billion in funding for early deployment of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies.
  • The announcement came as Sunak also pledged to future North Sea oil and gas licencing rounds, and are the third and fourth such CCUS projects to receive support from the UK Government.

WHAT IS CARBON CAPTURE TECHNOLGY ?

  • It is a process that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by power stations, factories and other industrial processes.
  • Then it stores them in a secure location, preventing them from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
  • The technology is seen as a crucial part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
  • It can help improve air quality by reducing other pollutants that are often emitted alongside CO2 during industrial processes.
  • It works by separating CO2 from other gases, compressing it into a liquid and transporting it through pipelines or other means to an underground storage site, which could be a depleted oil or gas reservoir or other geological formation.

MECHANISM OF CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE:

There are three steps to the CCS process:

1. Capturing the carbon dioxide for storage

The CO2 is separated from other gases produced in industrial processes, such as those at coal and natural-gas-fired power generation plants or steel or cement factories.

2. Transport

The CO2 is then compressed and transported via pipelines, road transport or ships to a site for storage.

3. Storage

Finally, the CO2 is injected into rock formations deep underground for permanent storage.

BENEFITS OF CARBON CAPTURING :

  • The benefits of CCUS include the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and extend the use of fossil fuels while transitioning to renewable energy sources.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted that, if we are to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and limit future temperature increases to 1.5°C (2.7°F), we must do more than just increasing efforts to reduce emissions – we also need to deploy technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
  • CCS is one of these technologies and can therefore play an important role in tackling global warming.

DEMERITS OF CARBON CAPTURE TECHNOLOGY :

  • There are potential environmental risks associated with storing CO2 underground, such as the possibility of leakage or accidental release, and the cost of maintaining storage sites can be high.
  • There are also concerns that investing in carbon capture technology may slow the transition to renewable energy sources by providing a false sense of security that emissions can be controlled without a more comprehensive shift to alternative energy sources.
  • CCS also gives companies fighting to burn fossil fuels access to policymakers and a “social license to operate”.

UK’S CASE STUDY:

  • The first UK locations for storing captured carbon were revealed by the government earlier this year as part of its Powering Up Britain strategy.
  • It also included three Teesside locations that would capture CO2 and store it beneath the North Sea.
  • Now, as part of the government’s pledge to provide up to £20 billion in funding for the early deployment of CCUS, the Acorn project in Scotland’s north-eastern region and the Viking project in the Humber are now receiving support.

WAY FORWARD:

  • There should be now a bigger focus on storing CO2 than using it to extract more oil.
  • To make the technology grow cheaper and work better, analysts say governments need to tax carbon, make it easier to approve CCS projects and help set up the infrastructure around it.

SYLLABUS: MAINS, GS-3,ENVIRONMENT

SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS, uk.news

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