Or so says Richard Van Noorden, in Nurture.
But that’s not right. What hobbles CCS is that its uneconomic: so why would you do it?
I’m being a bit unfair: at least according to the article, CCS would be economic at the same subsidy cost as feed-in tariffs for wind and solar. But the great thing about solar, for example, is that it becomes economic at the individual-roof scale with current subsidy. No planning permission, quick and simple installation, buildable in small chunks, individual voters see a profit (and the others who haven’t got it and don’t see a profit because they’re funding it don’t really see their economic loss). Far more appealing that spending countless millions on a CCS plant that probably wouldn’t work :-).
Apparently, CCS was supposed to get its subsidy from the carbon trading scheme. But now its stuffed, because the price has collapsed. This tells you one of two things: either the scheme was stupid in the first place (my opinion). Or that the scheme has been successful: we’ve decided how much CO2 to emit (number of permits) and the permit price being low is a sign that its not hard to get down to that kind of level, so we don’t need to do expensive things like CCS. If that sounds familiar, its because I’ve said it before.
Perhaps we could encourage fracking, instead?