I remember the second time I saw this graph. It was shown to me by that enthusiastic young guy Guy Shrubsole, who waved a printed copy under my nose and asked me if I’d seen it and knew what it meant. I had and I did :-
To answer Climate Change we must have strategies for new Low Carbon Energy investment.
The technologies we need to deploy are those that are already proven, and can be installed in the fastest possible time. What we can DO, and DO NOW.
This is DO-Tech, NOW-Tech : and it effectively rules out new rounds of Nuclear Energy, which is slow-to-grid. It also rules out the almost entirely hypothetical Carbon Capture and Storage.
Last week’s announcement by the UK Government for up to 4 “demonstration” projects for Carbon Capture and Storage [CCS] at new coal-fired electricity generation plants raises some serious questions.
Not least amongst that basket of tricky and serious questions : is CCS being used to justify the use of coal fuel, when less Carbon-intensive fuels are available ?
What follows is part of an e-mail exchange frenzy that has been sparked by the UK Government’s decision to announce plans to invest in up to four Carbon Capture and Storage “demonstration” plants.
I’m feeling a little “Carbon-resigned” tonight.
Nobody in the British Government has a handle on national Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and the announcement of up to four Carbon Capture and Storage “demonstration” projects doesn’t inspire me with confidence.
I can imagine the shared advertising now : a cartoon of a large tanker, shaped like a floating Coke bottle, with the caption “We funnel your fizz”.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been just the wisp or filament of an idea for so long; and never really taken on a bodily form. It’s still ectoplasmic, in the worst of ways. Despite the various attempts around the world to drag it kicking and screaming into a corporeal existence.
This week has seen a flurry of “Yes, We Can” news articles about the Carbon Capture and Storage technology, or CCS.
“Solution to the carbon problem could be under the ground : Hope for the fight against climate change as study finds greenhouse gas can be buried without fear of leaking : By Steve Connor, Science Editor : Thursday, 2 April 2009 : Carbon dioxide captured from the chimneys of power stations could be safely buried underground for thousands of years without the risk of the greenhouse gas seeping into the atmosphere, a study has found.”
Lord Ron Oxburgh, formerly non-executive director of Royal Dutch Shell, now honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, today labelled the clean coal technology as an “Elastoplast” – a temporary, transient technology to use in the Energy system until Energy has all been de-Carbonised.
Speaking at the Tenalps Energy and Environment 2009 Conference in Westminster, he derided the 20th Century as profligate in the use of cheap Carbon Energy, oil, coal and natural gas. He said that in the field of Energy, optimisation has been to anything other than fuel use – in other words – the relative cost has always been the driving factor.