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Carbon capture, utilisation and storage

Carbon capture and storage is an innovative technology designed to capture, transport and securely store CO2 underground, preventing its release into the atmosphere.  

While the share of renewable power generation is increasing, 30% of CO2 emissions at EU level are generated from the combustion of fossil fuel in power generation. Moreover, process industries like cement, iron and steel, aluminium, pulp and paper, and refineries, have inherent CO2 emissions resulting from raw material conversion.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have the capability to capture CO2 from power plants and energy-intensive industries. The captured CO2 can then be transported through pipelines or by ships to safe and permanent storage below the earth’s surface. This technology offers the possibility to generate negative CO2 emissions by capturing COfrom biogenic sources, such as sustainable biomass, or directly from the atmosphere.

Another option is to employ carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies, which utilise the captured COto produce new materials and products.  

As a result, the development of CCS and CCU has been recognised as a crucial priority for research and development by the energy union in order to achieve the 2050 climate objectives in a cost-effective way.

As the European Commission's science and knowledge service, the JRC is responsible for producing technological and scientific reports on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

 

CCU
Functioning of the CO2 value chains
IEA, 2024

 

The adoption of the EU Green Deal, the Climate Law and the subsequent proposals to increase energy and climate targets for 2030 have made carbon capture and storage technologies an important part of the EU decarbonisation effort.

The JRC has contributed to several CCS-related policy initiatives of the European Commission with the following projects under development:

  • The first EU CO2 storage atlas, (CO2StoP), elaborated in partnership with European Geological Surveys.
  • The JRC is also active on assessments regarding the technology and the economic and environmental impact of CO2 utilisation.
  • The JRC delivers information and analysis on the state of play of energy technologies, related research and innovation efforts in support of the implementation of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) 

As for research work on carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), the JRC issued a technical report, as part of the Clean Energy Technology (CETO) series of reports, which looks at the current status, value chains and market positions of the technology.

CO2 clouds
© Fotolia

Related Content

SETIS magazine: Carbon capture utilisation and storage

CCS Directive

Report on the implementation of the CCS Directive

CETO Report 2023: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage in the European Union

DG ENER

2. ÚNORA 2022
Facts behind the debate: Direct Air Capture
English
(1.86 MB - PDF)
Stáhnout

To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios:

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