2022 was a strong year for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS). More than 140 new projects were announced, increasing planned storage capacity by 80%, and capture capacity by 30%. CCUS projects were announced in seven additional countries, in central and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, bringing the total number of countries with plans to develop CCUS to 45.
To ensure that policy makers can keep up with an evolving CO2 management sector and support the growth required to meet decarbonisation goals, policies should proactively leverage opportunities and tackle challenges that may arise from new CCUS business models:
- Governments have a key role in network planning, co-ordinating hub development, and accelerating lead times for storage permitting. CCUS hubs can involve higher counterparty risks related to the cancellation, unavailability or failure of part of the chain. Efforts to mitigate these risks are already underway in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
- There is a need to develop comprehensive legal and regulatory frameworks with considerations specific to CCUS hubs, including third-party access to storage, multi-modal transboundary transport and regulatory obligations under the London Protocol. This is true for emerging frameworks around the world, as well as existing regulation, which must be fit for purpose. For example, the European TEN-E regulation on energy networks was revised in 2022, but still does not fully support all modes of CO2 transport.
- International collaboration is instrumental in exporting these models to other regions exploring CCUS, such as Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as first-of-a-kind hubs are firing up in Europe and North America.