Paving the Way for a European Carbon Market (cepInput)

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Wind, sun and hydrogen are seen as the keys to climate neutrality. Another one is often ignored: CO2 storage. In a new study, the Centre for European Policy calls for the development of an EU-wide pipeline and storage infrastructure for carbon capture and storage (CCS) - as well as the removal of regulatory barriers and the conclusion of Carbon-Contracts-for-Difference for young CCS technologies.

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"A spatially efficient development of pipeline and storage infrastructure is crucial for the ramp-up of CCS technologies. The EU and member states must create the conditions for this through regulatory harmonisation," says cep expert André Wolf, who authored the study.

The background to the work is the so-called Industrial Carbon Management Strategy, which is to be presented by the Commission in February. CO2 can be stored in geological sites for centuries. In Wolf's opinion, EU-wide and technology-neutral standards must be established in order to tap into the huge potential. The EU wants to store at least 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 - currently, CO2 storage facilities across Europe only have a capacity of around two million tonnes per year. Storage should complement the existing emissions targets.

The cep study calls for EU-wide tenders for Carbon-Contracts-for-Difference (CCfDs) specifically for negative emissions technologies. CCfDs are the key to initiating the timely market launch of young but promising technologies such as Direct Air Capture. They will allow Europe to benefit from cost-cutting learning effects in the long run.