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carbon capture and storage (CCS)

China and the United States established eight new pacts this week to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Half of these announcements focused on a single climate change mitigation measure—carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

China and the United States are world’s leaders when it comes to CCUS research and development, and this week’s agreements build on a long history of CCUS collaboration between the two nations. In fact, China-US partnership on CCUS has in many respects now left the theoretical feasibility realm and entered the “steel-in-the-ground” phase.

U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

Testimony of Sarah Forbes before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

In an April 25, 2014 testimony, Sarah Forbes describes the context for US-China collaboration on clean energy, outlining the need for policies that encourage innovation throughout the value chain. She also highlights how collaboration with China can advance U.S. energy goals, and suggests ways...

It is common knowledge that China burns a large amount of coal, with the fuel accounting for nearly 70% of China’s primary energy consumption in recent years. What is less commonly known is that China is also working on ways to reduce the impact of its coal use, including aggressively pursuing research and demonstration of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology.

WRI provides strategic advice on the development of best practices, regulations, and standards for CCS and participates in the development of national and international strategies for CCS deployment, consistent with environmental and social integrity.

On June 25, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the 2012 Annual Energy Outlook (2012 AEO) – the same day the public comment period closed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new power plants. The NSPS proposal marks EPA’s first step toward controlling carbon pollution from stationary sources, and the agency received a record-breaking more than two million comments supporting the rule. EPA will take the comments it receives into consideration before finalizing the rule later this year. (Get more information on the proposed rule, including WRI’s official comment).

This story was co-authored with Viviane Romeiro, an intern with WRI's CCS team.

WRI has recently launched a new online tool that compares Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) regulations, standards, and best practice guidelines.

Industry has been exploring CCS as an option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants for several years, but so far it remains at a demonstration level. To reach the next stage of deployment, it must be tried at scale on different types of power or other industrial plants, and in different geographic regions using suitable geologic reservoirs. Currently, there are 74 projects in process, of which only eight are operational, according to the Global CCS Institute. With a lack of strong carbon policies, along with a range of other issues outlined below, CCS has lost momentum in recent years and demonstration projects are proving hard to see through.


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