China Status of CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) 2021——China CCUS Pathway
To achieve carbon neutrality, developing Carbon dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology is a strategic choice to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and ensure energy security. With the change of understanding and negotiation situation of climate change, the connotation and extension of CCUS technology are constantly enriched and expanded. It is urgent to systematically study and evaluate the development trend of CCUS technology, reposition the technology development vision, and consider the development pathway of CCUS comprehensively.
To achieve the goal of carbon neutrality, China needs to establish a zero-carbon energy system based on non-fossil energy, and decouples economic development from carbon emission. CCUS technology, as an important part of the carbon neutral technology portfolio in China, is the only technology choice for zero-carbon utilization of fossil energy and the main technical means to maintain the flexibility of the power system. Moreover, CCUS is a feasible technical solution for industries with great difficulties in emission reduction, such as iron and steel and cement industry. In addition, the negative emission technology (CCUS+ renewable energy) is also the base technology guarantee to offset the remained carbon emissions after reduction and achieve carbon neutrality.
In terms of the emission reductions required to achieve carbon neutrality and based on current technology projections, the carbon dioxide emission reductions to be achieved by CCUS are 0.6-1.4 billion tonnes and 1-1.8 billion tonnes in 2050 and 2060, respectively. Among them, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) need to contribute 0.3-0.6 billion tonnes and 0.2-0.3 billion tonnes respectively in 2060. From the perspective of source-sink matching in China, the emission reduction potential provided by CCUS can basically meet the demand of carbon neutrality target (0.6-2.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide).
China attaches great importance to the development of CCUS technology and steadily promotes its research, development and application. At present, China's CCUS technology is at the industrial demonstration stage, but the scale of the existing demonstration projects is small. The cost of CCUS is an important factor affecting its large-scale application. With the development of technology, the cost of CCUS in China has a great potential of reduction. It is expected that by 2030, the technical cost of the whole-process CCUS (250 kilometers transportation) in China will be 310-770 yuan per tonne of CO2, and by 2060, it will gradually drop to 140-410 yuan per tonne of CO2.
To promote the development of CCUS technology in China and better support the realization of carbon dioxide emissions peaking and carbon neutralization, the following recommendations are proposed:
(1) Develop detailed pathway of CCUS for the carbon neutrality target. Taking full account of the industrial structure and emission path of key industries under the carbon neutrality target, a comprehensive and systematic assessment about the emission reduction demands and potential of CCUS in China from 2021 to 2060 need to be made.
(2) Improve CCUS policy support and standard system. China should promote the commercialization of CCUS, include CCUS in the catalog of industrial and technological development, improve and optimize the framework of laws and regulations, and formulate a scientific and reasonable standard system for construction, operation, supervision and termination.
(3) Plan and layout CCUS infrastructure construction. Increase the investment and construction scale of carbon dioxide capture, transportation and storage infrastructure, improve the management level of technical facilities, establish the cooperation and sharing mechanism of related infrastructure, and promote the coupling and integration of CCUS with different carbon emission fields and industries.
(4) Carry out large-scale CCUS demonstration and industrial cluster construction. China should improve the compatibility, integration, and optimization of technical units in whole process CCUS, accelerate the technical breakthrough of large-scale whole-process CCUS demonstration, and promote the construction of CCUS industrial cluster.
Forty-nine researchers in the CCUS field complete this report, and we appreciate the scientific dedication of the authors and the 13 reviewers. Given the uncertainty of CCUS emission reduction demand and potential assessment in the academic community, it is urgent to carry out in-depth analysis under more clear boundary conditions such as technology, capital, and policy in the future to obtain a more reasonable potential assessment and development pathway.