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« Dave Roberts at TED | Main | EU funds climate activists »
Tuesday
Jun192012

CCS "unlikely to succeed"

From the Daily Telegraph (Australia)

A PROPOSED method of cutting harmful carbon emissions in the atmosphere by storing them underground risks causing earthquakes and is unlikely to succeed, a US study said.

The warning came in a Perspective article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, just days after another independent US study warned that carbon capture and storage (CCS) risked causing earthquakes.

CCS is currently considered a "viable strategy" by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for pollution control from coal-based electrical power generation and other industrial sources of carbon dioxide, said the PNAS study.

If I recall correctly, DECC's plans for our future energy needs only consider fossil fuels if they have carbon capture in place.

I wonder what they are going to do now?

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Reader Comments (20)

Plant a tree?

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

They just need to find the magic energy bush. It's right next to the magic money tree that grows in George Mobiot's garden.

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Is it possible that this was known prior to the UN policy being made. It wouldn;t surprise me.

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The irony.
CCS is in the dock for exactly the same reason that the Greens have been badmouthing "fracking".

I wonder if they will protest as loudly against CCS?

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Kill the economy ?

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

If I recall correctly, DECC's plans for our future energy needs only consider fossil fuels if they have carbon capture in place.

Gas is clean enough to not require CCS I think. Coal will require CCS to be installed but apparently only at a minimum of 300 megawatts of capacity (see last two paragraphs) so it's only a portion of the output they are wanting to see if they can capture.

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Why are we so paranoid about induced earthquake hazards? Didnt seem to worry them back in the 50's-60's with all those underground nuclear tests, but anyway, Wiki says- 'Although there were early concerns about earthquakes arising as a result of underground tests, there is no evidence that this has occurred.'

CCS is a waste of time, money, energy and plant food.

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

PNAS paper is here.

"Despite its enormous cost, large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) is considered a viable strategy ... Because even small- to moderate-sized earthquakes threaten the seal integrity of CO2 repositories, in this context, large-scale CCS is a risky, and likely unsuccessful, strategy for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

The worry is not the earthquake itself, but that the earthquake would let the dreaded poison out, so making the whole expensive process useless.

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I am getting a "Content server error" notification when I try to click on the link in this posting (Telegraph AU).

Says something about a "Status 500 Content server error" and elsewhere something about an internal error or something to that effect.

I guess I should learn to do screen caps and block quotes.

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

Yet more nonsense science. UK CCS intends to store CO2 in depleted undersea oil formations and in aquifers. It will be at depths exceeding 3,000 feet [100 Atm.] well above the pressure needed to make CO2 liquid at room temperature:

Neglecting the extra pressure needed to displace the existing water from the porous rock, there will be no change in pressure once the water have been replaced by the liquid CO2. This is so obvious to anyone with a scientific education I didn't realise it had to be spelt out.

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Did they already start? We had a once in a century earthquake here in Melbourne this evening. Big enough and long enough to convince me to stand under an archway.

Jun 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveA

Lots of straws in the wind....

GE and a small company called Sargas have just announced a new technology for CO2 capture which, they claim, is dramatically more economic than current methods. Their plan is to use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.

A month-long trial was recently carried out, successfully, to recover nat gas from methane hydrates. It involved displacing the methane with CO2 which was sequestered in consequence.

A consortium of major companies is trialling a system which recovers around 40% of the water from the exhaust of gas-fired power plants. The water is clean so this could be particularly attractive in the Middle East and similar regions.

Maybe today's "dangerous emissions" could become tomorrow's useful resource!

Jun 19, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeH

What a conundrum, nobody's happy, those on the CO2 orthodoxy denier side side worry about the mandatory imposition of CCS while the CAGW side are complaining that there only needs to be a pilot scheme planned for planning approval.

The alarmists are right of course, after "proving " that CCS is not workable who is going to shut down a coal plant just because of that.

Jun 19, 2012 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrankSW

Frank, I am left with the suspicion you don't know what you're talking about but want to make a contribution. Suggest you go for the "know what you're talking about" route before contributing.

CCS has always been suspect.

Jun 19, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Re "I wonder what they are going to do now?"

For DECC, the only "technical authority" they seem conform to is IPCC. Studies published in USA aren't going to carry any weight.

Jun 19, 2012 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

Why not just plant a shed load of trees....I'm sure we can all agree on that measure...

Jun 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Over the past two millenia, the extractive industries in the UK have dug over one quarter of a million holes up to 2km deep in and around the UK without any significant earthquake effects. Yet the greenies would have us believe that fracking will result in an immediate disaster, but CCS or the vibrations from their batmashers are totally innocuous.

Jun 20, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

The link to the Daily Telegraph (Australia) doesn't work for me it gives an HTTP Status 500 - Content Server error.

Jun 20, 2012 at 2:34 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Gareth @ 4.01pm you state "Gas is clean enough to not require CCS I think" .
Not exactly true. When gas is burnt it produces less CO2 than coal however many gas deposits contain significant amounts of CO2 (10-15%) that has to be removed prior to use and is generally not counted, especially by the gas promoters. At the moment it is generally just vented into the atmosphere. The developing Gorgon field off Western Aus will require this CO2 to be sequestered - nothing new as it has been used in the O&G for decades for enhanced production.

I also had a look at your link, how much weight do you place on an article that hits the ground running and states in the first paragraph

"...will allow the coal-fired power station proposed for Hunterston in North Ayrshire to belch out hundreds of millions of tonnes of climate pollution and wreck Scotland’s targets to cut emissions."

Climate pollution wtf, oh and the photo attached, very misleading as I thought CO2 was colourless.

Jun 20, 2012 at 6:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan

Gas (and fluids, including sea water and stuff with exotic chemicals in) have routinely been injected into producing oil fields for decades sometimes just for pressure maintenance, sometimes to assist in sweep efficiency and improving recovery, sometimes just to get rid of unusable gas when flaring is not permitted or there is no market to take the gas. It is a standard practise in oilfield management. Onshore and offshore all over the world wells are drilled for production, injection etc. Not just to 2 km depth either, very often to 3, 4 or even 5 km depth. The world hasn't ended and earthquake swarms have not exactly destroyed the planet.

As with fraccing, all this is a nonsense invented problem. The real problem is the enormous cost of CCS and whether it is really necessary. If CAGW is exaggerated then we don't need CCS.

Jun 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

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