Investigating the prospects for Carbon Capture and Storage technology in India
Kapila, Rudra V
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The use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to mitigate the risk of climate change has received relatively little attention until recent years. They are, however, increasingly being proposed as potentially important contributors in global action on climate change. For example, the Stern Review notes that: “[CCS] is a technology expected to deliver a significant portion of the emission reductions. The forecast growth in emissions from coal, especially in China and India, means CCS technology has particular importance.” Chinese companies have recently started planning and constructing pilot scale (and larger) CCS schemes. The Indian Government and industry has, however, tended to take a more cautious approach. In this context, this study aims to examine whether CCS could be a suitable option for India and, if so, what role would be appropriate for various stakeholders, including developed countries, to play in its development within India. The primary research reported here is a survey- based exploration of stakeholder views on the suitability of CCS for India and how CCS could be developed and deployed. There is a lively debate about whether CCS should be deployed in India. It is expected that coal will play a significant role in providing energy and electricity in India until 2050, at least, despite measures to significantly increase the role of other energy sources. Although CCS is not seen as an immediate priority for Indian Government or industry, survey respondents do expect it to become more important in the future, particularly for industry. Thus, it is appropriate to consider whether CCS is a technically feasible option for India and, if so, if and when it should be used. Although there are some significant challenges, it seems likely that introducing CO2 capture at Indian power plants could be technically feasible especially in locations where it is considered appropriate to apply ‘capture ready’ concepts for new build plants before CCS is deployed. Identifying both suitable storage sites and routes for transporting captured CO2 safely to these sites also requires careful consideration. One important factor in shaping views on whether CCS is an appropriate option for India is the proposed timing of any deployment of possible projects. In particular, survey respondents typically suggest that it is necessary for developed countries to demonstrate CCS at commercial scale before any commercial-scale CCS projects in India are considered. In fact, most survey respondents suggested that any consideration of deployment of CCS in India should be within an appropriate international framework, including measures for knowledge sharing and technology transfer that consider local conditions carefully. The importance of establishing reasonable methods to help with early engagement on CCS between India and developed countries was also noted by some respondents. For example, one respondent suggested that consideration should be given to establishing local knowledge/training centres within India. Survey respondents also suggested that it was reasonable for developed country governments to contribute to financing of both initial projects and wider deployment of CCS in India. This could partly be through international finance institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank.