Carbon capture is emerging as a critical initiative in the global effort to combat climate change. This technology is gaining momentum both worldwide and in India, as we strive to understand its progress and potential in the context of the latest statistics. Several players are working on carbon capture technology in India to enable change.
The Global Carbon Emissions Challenge
To comprehend the importance of carbon capture, we must first acknowledge the scale of the carbon emissions challenge. In 2019, the world witnessed a staggering 36.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a record high. Meeting the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius necessitates achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, making carbon capture an indispensable tool in this endeavor.
John Bernett Shield, an ESG and green energy expert from Norway, cites the 2022 IEA Report on CO2 Emissions, “Energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 0.9% in 2022, reaching a record 36.8 billion metric tons. While this was an alarming rise, it marked a notable slowdown compared to the 6% rebound witnessed in 2021. The energy sector contributed the most to this increase, with industrial processes showing a slight decrease.”
Fortunately, countries at the forefront of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, including the United States, Canada, the European Union, and China, are making significant strides. Pioneering projects, like Norway’s Sleipner and Snøhvit, serve as inspiring examples of successful carbon capture initiatives that have been operational since the 1990s.
India’s Carbon Capture Endeavors
India, with its rapid industrialization and urbanization, faces its share of emissions challenges. The energy sector, particularly coal-fired power plants, contributes over 70% of the nation’s emissions. However, India is not merely part of the problem. Carbon capture technology in India is being engaged actively to find usable solutions.
Numerous carbon capture projects have been initiated to address emissions, such as the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) project in Jamshedpur, capturing 60,000 metric tons of CO2 annually from the steel industry. The BGR Energy Systems project in Tuticorin is another notable effort capturing and utilizing CO2 emissions from a coal-based power plant.
Overcoming Critical Challenges
Undoubtedly, challenges persist. High costs, the need for extensive infrastructure, and long-term storage solutions present significant hurdles. Nevertheless, investment in research and development remains pivotal to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Governments worldwide recognize the significance of carbon capture technologies, actively crafting policies and regulations to stimulate their development and deployment. In India, the National Action Plan on Climate Change explicitly acknowledges the importance of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) in emissions reduction.
The Global Investment Landscape
When we consider investments in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) on a global scale, the outlook is promising. Projections suggest that investments in this sector may reach an impressive $90 billion by 2030. Much of this investment is expected to flow into the United States and Europe.
Progress in Carbon Capture Technologies
Kamal Tiwari, CEO of Daiki Axis India shares, “There are many innovative technologies that either remove or reduce carbon and capture it into various products – carbon neutral concrete, olivine sand, direct carbon air capture from the sky, the greenhouse can be buried under the ground or in products including fuels, food, and construction materials are just a few examples.” Daiki Axis India is a part of Daiki Axis Japan, the environment division of Daiki Japan.
Over the past decade, substantial progress has been achieved in carbon capture technologies.
- Cost Reduction- Traditionally considered economically prohibitive, carbon capture technologies have become more financially viable due to innovations and economies of scale.
- Pilot Projects- Numerous pilot projects and demonstration plants worldwide have showcased the feasibility of carbon capture at various scales.
- Carbon Capture Utilization (CCU)- CCU has gained prominence, transforming captured CO2 into valuable products such as fuels, chemicals, or construction materials.
- Policy Support- Governments and international organizations now provide incentives and regulatory frameworks to support carbon capture technology deployment.
The Path Forward
Kamal Tiwari further adds here, “The world economy is set to double in the next 20 years, while we need to cut our emissions by more than half in that time and become net zero by mid-century.”
To fully harness the potential of carbon capture innovations, a comprehensive approach is essential…
- Continued research and development are imperative to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of carbon capture technologies.
- Governments must provide financial incentives, regulatory backing, and clear policies to encourage carbon capture adoption.
- Collaboration among governments, industries, and research institutions is vital for innovation and knowledge exchange.
- Increasing public awareness and understanding of carbon capture’s benefits and limitations is crucial.
“I believe that carbon capture will be one of those things we apply across the economy … But its best application and its most useful climate application will probably be in heavy industry: In refining, steel making, in cement in concrete, these sectors we have very, very few options for,” Dr Julio Friedmann, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy told Al Arabiya’s Naser El Tibi in the year 2021. And no wonder it is happening, carbon capture is poised to play a pivotal role in the energy transition,particularly in heavy industries like power, steel, cement, and the oil and gas sectors across the world. Companies worldwide are actively adopting carbon capture technologies, recognizing their potential.
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