November 9, 2017 – Coal Association of Canada statement on value of carbon capture and storage in response to recent media coverage in Saskatchewan:
When considering the future of carbon capture and storage, both locally and globally, it is imperative that we look at the big picture. There is more to consider than the dollars and cents of one project – we must consider the positive potential of the technology on a global scale, the innovation required to get it there, as well as the socioeconomic factors at play.
SaskPower has done a revolutionary job on Boundary Dam 3. This project is used around the world as proof that post-combustion CCS can and does work on a commercial scale and is capable of producing low-emission power generation from an economical, reliable and local fuel source. As with any emerging technology, and especially those applied on such a major scale, initial projects will face certain challenges. These challenges are lessons to be examined, learned from and used to create more efficient and less expensive generation projects.
It is well documented that technical innovation is critical to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets set out in the Paris Agreement. Coal, oil and natural gas currently provide nearly 80% of the world’s energy and will continue to be used as an essential part of the energy mix for decades to come. Without the scaling-up and further commercialization of technologies like CCS, there will be no way to balance the expected growth of energy needs with regional and global climate demands, according to organizations like the International Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency. In fact, the IEA has recently stated that CCS will be needed to cut 14% of the emissions that have to be abated by 2060 in order to meet current targets.
If Canada is serious about being a climate leader and leading by example, there needs to be a major push for research & development and policies in favor of CCS. The application and advancement of this technology is gaining traction and attention around the world, and Saskatchewan and Canada can continue to play an important role moving forward.
Coal Association of Canada