Global CCS Institute approved Carbon Capture and Storage Blueprint
A Scottish designed blueprint to help governments implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) project applications smoothly has been launched.
A new ‘Are You Ready’ toolkit has been designed to make it easy for nations and regions to test their legislation, regulatory and public engagement systems in advance of receiving applications for CCS projects.
The test toolkit, produced by the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) Centre on behalf of the Scottish Government, provides a low-cost, low-risk approach to a regulatory test exercise. This toolkit was researched and written by Benjamin Evar and Hannah Chalmers from the University of Edinburgh’s SCCS research group, and Richard Bellingham from the University of Strathclyde.
SCCS is the largest carbon storage grouping in the UK which comprise in excess of 65 researchers and are unique in connected strength across the full CCS chain, as well as in biochar capability.
SCCS builds on and extends the established world-class expertise in CO2 storage evaluation and injection, using petroleum and hydrocarbon geosciences (based on geology, geophysics, geo-engineering and subsurface fluid flow). This is augmented by industrial scale chemical engineering, next-generation carbon capture and innovative CO2 use, combined with rare expertise in power plant design and operation.
The Centre comprises experimental and analytical facilities; expertise in field studies and modelling; key academic and research personnel, to stimulate the development of innovative solutions to carbon capture and subsurface storage.
The toolkit was commissioned and sponsored by the Global CCS Institute which works with projects and governments on sharing knowledge to help accelerate the commercial deployment of CCS. Announced by the Australian Government in September 2008, the Global CCS Institute was formally launched in April 2009. It became a legal entity in June 2009 when it was incorporated under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 as a public company and began operating independently as of July 2009. The Institute is a not-for-profit entity, limited by guarantee, and owned by its Members, with the Australian Government initially committing AU$100 million annual funding to the organisation for a four year period.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said: “Scotland is leading global efforts to develop CCS, with the largest offshore storage capacity in Europe in the North Sea and the UK’s leading candidate for a CCS demonstration project. The Scottish Government used a mock CCS project to test our own regulations and identify any streamlining opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. It is therefore appropriate that we have taken the lead in sharing this experience with other nations and regions. This blueprint will now be rolled out across the globe to equip governments, regulators and developers with the knowledge they need to be confident that CCS applications are processed efficiently and in accordance with the relevant planning and environmental obligations”.
Bob Pegler said: “This marks a significant step in our efforts to share knowledge and best practice globally, so that we can help accelerate CCS demonstration. Regulation is one area where Scotland is very advanced and from which many other regions could learn. We believe the toolkit will be extremely useful to European member states in finalizing their work in the transposition of the EU’s CCS Directive. It can also be used by any world region that is looking for best practice regulatory models.” Bob Pegler is the General Manager, Europe of the Global CCS Institute, based in Paris. Bob has served in the Australian Public Service for more than 30 years in the fields of resources, energy, industry, finance and environment. Bob joined the Global CCS Institute in 2009. He has been instrumental in shaping its initial work program, including a comprehensive analysis of the global status of CCS and how impediments are influencing project decisions.
The Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage Centre, working with the Scottish European Green Energy Centre, has produced the toolkit. The Scottish European Green Energy Centre provides a focal point for European organisations engaging in low carbon energy projects and activities. SEGEC facilitates partnerships, collaborative projects and funding packages designed to accelerate the development and deployment of low carbon energy technologies, and disseminates the results.
The toolkit is designed to support regional and national governments seeking to establish whether their
regulatory framework and systems are fit for purpose. It provides a guide to testing regulatory systems
by taking a CCS project application through every stage of the approval process in a regulatory test exercise.
The toolkit explains the key activities needed to complete a successful test.
· Careful planning and preparation
· Developing key tools to support planning and running the event
· Running a CCS test workshop and in particular gathering the views of delegates
· Ensuring effective follow-up to gain maximum benefit from the event
Planning and preparation: This section explains the planning and preparation for the CCS test exercise.
The main activities are divided in to four strands:
· Resources and governance
· Stakeholder engagement
· Regulatory analysis
· Preparation for the event
Resources and governance: The CCS regulatory test exercise will require an organisation to lead the exercise. The lead organisation should be a government department or regulatory agency. This body will have a significant stake in the successful completion of the exercise; be perceived as neutral by different commercial players; and will offer knowledge of existing structures in the electricity sector, oil and gas extraction, and environmental regulation.
Stakeholder engagement: A wide range of organisations have legitimate interests in CCS and the regulatory processes that will approve and control future projects.
· Government departments, planners and regulatory agencies;
· Several industrial sectors, for example electricity generation, oil and gas etc;
· NGOs involved with good governance and the environment;
· Technical advisors and consultants; and
· Academics within the CCS and governance fields.
Data collection: Collection of data should start at the earliest point possible. Information will need to be collected from government departments and agencies, as well as the regulators, so that the full set of permit applications to be submitted for a CCS project can be identified and detailed. Early data collection and contacts with the wider CCS community will form the basis for the creation of a comprehensive list of relevant CCS regulations and permits as well as a CCS project application. These two tools will be useful in identifying relevant presentation material for the workshop as well as structuring the discussion around key issues.
Preparation for the workshop: The workshop event chairperson and facilitators should be identified as early as possible in the planning and preparation process. This allows them to be fully involved in planning the workshop event.
Key tools: This section details the creation of the regulatory table and the CCS project application, and their role in facilitating learning and discussion before, during and after the workshop event. The regulatory table should be organised according to permit planning stage and may include the following information:
- Type of permit – environmental, health and safety etc;
- Place in the CCS chain/project lifecycle – capture, transport, storage, decommissioning;
- Permit title;
- Area covered by the permit;
- Granting authority;
- Timing from application to permit;
- Details on submission requirements; and
- Comments on emerging legislation.
Running the workshop: The agenda should allow participants adequate time and space for informal networking. This will assist with the development of a community of interest, through a cross fertilisation of ideas and a broader analysis of different points of view.
Following up: gaining the benefits: Following up on lessons learned after the workshop is vital if the test exercise is to deliver its intended objectives and benefits.
Key actions are likely to be arranged in two groups:
- Disseminating the results of the exercise to a wider stakeholder audience; and
- Planning and engaging to deliver the agreed actions.
The Global CCS Institute has supported the toolkit with £50,000 funding.
The Institute will promote the toolkit around the world and it is already attracting interest from Canada, Australia and several EU nations. The move is a vote of confidence in Scotland’s forward thinking approach in preparing for carbon capture and storage projects, which is recognised as a key technology in cutting emissions from fossil fuel power stations.