CCS emerging as China’s top technology as Beijing eyes global leadership

Clare Saxon Ghauri
6 September 2012

BEIJING: As China tightens its emissions regulations but continues to consume coal, CCS (carbon capture and storage) is emerging as a rapidly growing technology in the country.

Companies across China that have begun utilizing the technology are already boasting impressive emissions reductions. The nation's first CCS project in Inner Mongolia, by Chinese state-owned coal giant Shenua Group, has announced that it has trapped 46,000 tons of CO2 since 2011.

This week ClimateWire reported that many more CCS projects are following Shenua, including energy corporation ENN Group, which is using algae in a similar process to cut emissions from its operations.

In Beijing and Shanghai, China Huaneng Group Corp adopted CCS under the Government's request and is now raising its ambition with a target of capturing 60% of carbon emissions in its Tianjin-based power plant by 2016.

A 2012 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that the market for CCS will continue to grow, because the alternatives - energy efficiency and clean energy markets - will soon be dominated by leading businesses.

Ellina Levina, Energy Analyst, IEA, told ClimateWire: “Beijing has set its mind on becoming a leader in CCUS. The Chinese Government has been actively pursuing and supporting a technology development agenda that very quickly allowed China to make a breakthrough in the new generation of various technologies, and carbon capture and storage technology development was at first riding on this wave.

"Lower cost structure and short timelines for project approvals and construction provide the rationale for a positive outlook on carbon capture and storage development in China compared to other parts of the world. If this dynamic continues, China has the opportunity to become an exporter of carbon capture and storage technologies."

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group commented on the positive pattern of CCS uptake in China: "CCUS demonstration led by the industry in China is expected to play a significant role in tackling the emissions of GHG from its heavy reliance on coal.

“I am delighted to see that our work in the sector in the last few years through partnership with leading Chinese industries, research community, government agencies, and some international organizations like the IEA has contributed to the progress of the demonstration, and also policy making in the sector in China. And I believe that China can lead Clean Revolution through such clean coal technology and solutions."

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