Panel recommendations pave way for carbon capture projects in California

Sacramento, Calif., January 21, 2011 — Recommendations by California's Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel are a welcome assist to move the technology towards adoption, according to Pete Montgomery, executive director of the California CCS Coalition, an energy industry association.

California's CCS Review Panel, formed by state agencies with representatives from industry, academia and environmental organizations, issued recommendations for implementing CCS projects on January 14 after a year-long study of key issues involved with the technology.

The panel's report provides recommendations for resolving legal, regulatory and financial issues that currently impede the building of CCS facilities in the state.

Important key findings contained in the report make it clear that CCS must be part of California’s low carbon future:

* There is a public benefit from long-term geologic storage of CO2 as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere as required by California law.

* Technology currently exists for the safe and effective capture, transport, and geological storage of CO2 from power plants and other large industrial facilities.

Among the panel's recommendations are suggestions for:

* Recognizing CO2 emission reductions achieved through CCS for meeting California’s requirements for greenhouse gas emission reductions under AB32.

* Designating lead regulatory agencies for different aspects of CCS oversight.

Of particular importance to the coalition are the recommendations to accelerate the deployment of CCS:

* To ensure that CCS can play a role in meeting California’s requirements for greenhouse gas emission reductions:

* The state should recognize appropriately regulated CCS as a measure that can safely and effectively reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 from relevant stationary sources, including power plants and other industrial sources.

* The state should evaluate a variety of different types of incentives for early CCS projects in California and consider implementing those that are most cost-effective.

CCS is the process by which CO2, the most common greenhouse gas, can be captured from existing or new industrial or electric generation processes, and then stored in deep underground formations. Among the best geologic formations in which to store CO2 are sufficiently depleted oil and gas reservoirs.

Experts agree that meeting California's goal to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions will require focused, coordinated efforts that address every aspect of energy production and use.

One critical area is reducing CO2 emissions that result from the production of electricity through carbon capture and storage, also known as CCS. CCS can be incorporated into new fossil-fueled electric generating stations, with 90 percent of the CO2 produced captured and stored deep underground.

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