Figure TS.12. These figures are an illustrative example of the global potential contribution of CCS as part of a mitigation portfolio. They are based on two alternative integrated assessment models (MESSAGE and MiniCAM) adopting the same assumptions for the main emissions drivers. The results would vary considerably on regional scales. This example is based on a single scenario and therefore does not convey the full range of uncertainties. Panels a) and b) show global primary energy use, including the deployment of CCS. Panels c) and d) show the global CO2 emissions in grey and corresponding contributions of main emissions reduction measures in colour. Panel e) shows the calculated marginal price of CO2 reductions.

For CO2 stabilization scenarios between 450 and 750 ppmv, published estimates of the cumulative amount of CO2 potentially stored globally over the course of this century (in geological formations and/or the oceans) span a wide range, from very small contributions to thousands of gigatonnes of CO2. To a large extent, this wide range is due to the uncertainty of long-term socio-economic, demographic and, in particular, technological changes, which are the main drivers of future CO2 emissions. However, it is important to note that the majority of results for stabilization scenarios of 450-750 ppmv CO2 tend to cluster in a range of 220-2,200 GtCO2 (60-600 GtC) for the cumulative deployment of CCS. For CCS to achieve this economic potential, several hundreds or thousands of CCS systems would be required worldwide over the next century, each capturing some 1-5 MtCO2 per year. As indicated in Section 5, it is likely that the technical potential for geological storage alone is sufficient to cover the high end of the economic potential range for CCS.

Perspectives on CO2 leakage from storage

The policy implications of slow leakage from storage depend on assumptions in the analysis. Studies conducted to address the question of how to deal with impermanent storage are based on different approaches: the value of delaying emissions, cost minimization of a specified mitigation scenario, or allowable future emissions in the context of an assumed stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Some of these studies allow future releases to be compensated by additional reductions in emissions; the results depend on assumptions regarding the future cost of reductions, discount rates, the amount of CO2 stored, and the assumed level of stabilization for atmospheric concentrations. In other studies, compensation is not seen as an option because of political and institutional uncertainties and the analysis focuses on limitations set by the assumed stabilization level and the amount stored.

While specific results of the range of studies vary with the methods and assumptions made, the outcomes suggest that a fraction retained on the order of 90-99% for 100 years or 60-95% for 500 years could still make such impermanent storage valuable for the mitigation of climate change. All studies imply that, if CCS is to be acceptable as a mitigation measure, there must be an upper limit to the amount of leakage that can take place.

9. Emission inventories and accounting

An important aspect of CO2 capture and storage is the development and application of methods to estimate and report the quantities in which emissions of CO2 (and associated emissions of methane or nitrous oxides) are reduced, avoided, or removed from the atmosphere. The two elements involved here are (1) the actual estimation and reporting of emissions for national greenhouse gas inventories, and (2) accounting for CCS under international agreements to limit net emissions.15

Current framework

Under the UNFCCC, national greenhouse gas emission inventories have traditionally reported emissions for a specific year, and have been prepared on an annual basis or another periodic basis. The IPCC Guidelines (IPCC 1996) and Good Practice Guidance Reports (IPCC 2000; 2003) describe detailed approaches for preparing national inventories that are complete, transparent, documented, assessed for uncertainties, consistent over time, and comparable across countries. The IPCC documents now in use do not specifically include CO2 capture and storage options. However, the IPCC Guidelines are currently undergoing revisions that should provide some guidance when the revisions are published in 2006. The framework that already has been accepted could be applied to CCS systems, although some issues might need revision or expansion.

Issues relevant to accounting and reporting

In the absence of prevailing international agreements, it is not clear whether the various forms of CO2 capture and storage will be treated as reductions in emissions or as removals from the atmosphere. In either case, CCS results in new pools of CO2 that may be subject to physical leakage at some time in the future. Currently, there are no methods available within the UNFCCC framework for monitoring, measuring or accounting for physical leakage from storage sites. However, leakage from well-managed geological storage sites is likely to be small in magnitude and distant in time.

Consideration may be given to the creation of a specific category for CCS in the emissions reporting framework but this is not strictly necessary since the quantities of CO2 captured and stored could be reflected in the sector in which the CO2 was produced. CO2 storage in a given location could include CO2 from many different source categories, and even from sources in many different countries. Fugitive

15 In this context, ''estimation'' is the process of calculating greenhouse gas emissions and ''reporting'' is the process of providing the estimates to the UNFCCC. ''Accounting'' refers to the rules for comparing emissions and removals as reported with commitments (IPCC 2003).

emissions from the capture, transport and injection of CO2 to storage can largely be estimated within the existing reporting methods, and emissions associated with the added energy required to operate the CCS systems can be measured and reported within the existing inventory frameworks. Specific consideration may also be required for CCS applied to biomass systems as that application would result in reporting negative emissions, for which there is currently no provision in the reporting framework.

Issues relevant to international agreements

Quantified commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions and the use of emissions trading, Joint Implementation (JI) or the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) require clear rules and methods to account for emissions and removals. Because CCS has the potential to move CO2 across traditional accounting boundaries (e.g. CO2 might be captured in one country and stored in another, or captured in one year and partly released from storage in a later year), the rules and methods for accounting may be different than those used in traditional emissions inventories.

To date, most of the scientific, technical and political discussions on accounting for stored CO2 have focused on sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere. The history of these negotiations may provide some guidance for the development of accounting methods for CCS. Recognizing the potential impermanence of CO2 stored in the terrestrial biosphere, the UNFCCC accepted the idea that net emissions can be reduced through biological sinks, but has imposed complex rules for such accounting. CCS is markedly different in many ways from CO2 sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere (see Table TS.12), and the different forms of CCS are markedly different from one another. However, the main goal of accounting is to ensure that CCS activities produce real and quantifiable reductions in net emissions. One tonne of CO2 permanently stored has the same benefit in terms of atmospheric CO2 concentrations as one tonne of CO2 not emitted, but one tonne of CO2 temporarily stored has less benefit. It is generally accepted that this difference should be reflected in any system of accounting for reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions.

The IPCC Guidelines (IPCC 1996) and Good Practice Guidance Reports (IPCC 2000; 2003) also contain guidelines for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. It is not known whether the revised guidelines of the IPCC for CCS can be satisfied by using monitoring techniques, particularly for geological and ocean storage. Several techniques are available for the monitoring and verification of CO2 emissions from geological storage, but they vary in applicability, detection limits and uncertainties. Currently, monitoring for geological storage can take place quantitatively at injection and qualitatively in the reservoir and by measuring surface fluxes of CO2. Ocean storage monitoring can take place by

Table TS.12. Differences in the forms of CCS and biological sinks that might influence the way accounting is conducted.


Terrestrial biosphere

Deep ocean

Geological reservoirs

CO2 sequestered or stored Ownership

Management decisions Monitoring

Expected retention time Physical leakage


Stock changes can be monitored Injected carbon can be over time. measured.

Stocks will have a discrete location and can be associated with an identifiable owner.

Stocks will be mobile and may reside in international waters.

Storage will be subject to Once injected there are no continuing decisions about land- further human decisions about use priorities.

Changes in stocks can be monitored.

Decades, depending on management decisions.

Losses might occur due to disturbance, climate change, or land-use decisions.

A discrete land-owner can be identified with the stock of sequestered carbon.

maintenance once injection has taken place.

Changes in stocks will be modelled.

Centuries, depending on depth and location of injection.

Losses will assuredly occur as an eventual consequence of marine circulation and equilibration with the atmosphere.

Multiple parties may contribute to the same stock of stored CO2 and the CO2 may reside in international waters.

Injected carbon can be measured.

Stocks may reside in reservoirs that cross national or property boundaries and differ from surface boundaries.

Once injection has taken place, human decisions about continued storage involve minimal maintenance, unless storage interferes with resource recovery.

Release of CO2 can be detected by physical monitoring.

Essentially permanent, barring physical disruption of the reservoir.

Losses are unlikely except in the case of disruption of the reservoir or the existence of initially undetected leakage pathways.

Multiple parties may contribute to the same stock of stored CO2 that may lie under multiple countries.

detecting the CO2 plume, but not by measuring ocean surface release to the atmosphere. Experiences from monitoring existing CCS projects are still too limited to serve as a basis for conclusions about the physical leakage rates and associated uncertainties.

The Kyoto Protocol creates different units of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, emissions reductions, and emissions sequestered under different compliance mechanisms. 'Assigned amount units' (AAUs) describe emissions commitments and apply to emissions trading, 'certified emission reductions' (CERs) are used under the CDM, and 'emission reduction units' (ERUs) are employed under JI. To date, international negotiations have provided little guidance about methods for calculating and accounting for project-related CO2 reductions from CCS systems (only CERs or ERUs), and it is therefore uncertain how such reductions will be accommodated under the Kyoto Protocol. Some guidance may be given by the methodologies for biological-sink rules. Moreover, current agreements do not deal with cross-border CCS projects. This is particularly important when dealing with cross-border projects involving CO2 capture in an 'Annex B' country that is party to the Kyoto Protocol but stored in a country that is not in Annex B or is not bound by the Protocol.

Although methods currently available for national emissions inventories can either accommodate CCS systems or be revised to do so, accounting for stored CO2 raises questions about the acceptance and transfer of responsibility for stored emissions. Such issues may be addressed through national and international political processes.

10. Gaps in knowledge based and natural gas-based power plants with CO2 capture on the order of several hundred megawatts (or several MtCO2). Demonstration of CO2 capture on this scale is needed to establish the reliability and environmental performance of different types of power systems with capture, to reduce the costs of CCS, and to improve confidence in the cost estimates. In addition, large-scale implementation is needed to obtain better estimates of the costs and performance of CCS in industrial processes, such as the cement and steel industries, that are significant sources of CO2 but have little or no experience with CO2 capture.

With regard to mineral carbonation technology, a major question is how to exploit the reaction heat in practical designs that can reduce costs and net energy requirements. Experimental facilities at pilot scales are needed to address these gaps.

With regard to industrial uses of captured CO2, further study of the net energy and CO2 balance of industrial processes that use the captured CO2 could help to establish a more complete picture of the potential of this option.

Geographical relationship between the sources and storage opportunities of CO2

An improved picture of the proximity of major CO2 sources to suitable storage sites (of all types), and the establishment of cost curves for the capture, transport and storage of CO2, would facilitate decision-making about large-scale deployment of CCS. In this context, detailed regional assessments are required to evaluate how well large CO2 emission sources (both current and future) match suitable storage options that can store the volumes required.

This summary of the gaps in knowledge covers aspects of CCS where increasing knowledge, experience and reducing uncertainty would be important to facilitate decision-making about the large-scale deployment of CCS.

Technologies for capture and storage

Technologies for the capture of CO2 are relatively well understood today based on industrial experience in a variety of applications. Similarly, there are no major technical or knowledge barriers to the adoption of pipeline transport, or to the adoption of geological storage of captured CO2. However, the integration of capture, transport and storage in full-scale projects is needed to gain the knowledge and experience required for a more widespread deployment of CCS technologies. R&D is also needed to improve knowledge of emerging concepts and enabling technologies for CO2 capture that have the potential to significantly reduce the costs of capture for new and existing facilities. More specifically, there are knowledge gaps relating to large coal-

Geological storage capacity and effectiveness

There is a need for improved storage capacity estimates at the global, regional and local levels, and for a better understanding of long-term storage, migration and leakage processes. Addressing the latter issue will require an enhanced ability to monitor and verify the behaviour of geologically stored CO2. The implementation of more pilot and demonstration storage projects in a range of geological, geographical and economic settings would be important to improve our understanding of these issues.

Impacts of ocean storage

Major knowledge gaps that should be filled before the risks and potential for ocean storage can be assessed concern the ecological impact of CO2 in the deep ocean. Studies are needed of the response of biological systems in the deep sea to added CO2, including studies that are longer in duration and larger in scale than those that have been performed until now. Coupled with this is a need to develop techniques and sensors to detect and monitor CO2 plumes and their biological and geochemical consequences.

Legal and regulatory issues

Current knowledge about the legal and regulatory requirements for implementing CCS on a larger scale is still inadequate. There is no appropriate framework to facilitate the implementation of geological storage and take into account the associated long-term liabilities. Clarification is needed regarding potential legal constraints on storage in the marine environment (ocean or sub-seabed geological storage). Other key knowledge gaps are related to the methodologies for emissions inventories and accounting.

Global contribution of CCS to mitigating climate change

There are several other issues that would help future decision-making about CCS by further improving our understanding of the potential contribution of CCS to the long-term global mitigation and stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations. These include the potential for transfer and diffusion of CCS technologies, including opportunities for developing countries to exploit CCS, its application to biomass sources of CO2, and the potential interaction between investment in CCS and other mitigation options. Further investigation is warranted into the question of how long CO2 would need to be stored. This issue is related to stabilization pathways and intergenerational aspects.

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