Scaling up carbon dioxide capture and storage: From megatons to gigatons
Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) is the only technology that can reduce CO2 emissions substantially while allowing fossil fuels to meet the world's pressing energy needs. Even though the technological components of CCS--separation of CO2 from emissions, transport, and secure storage--are all in use somewhere in the economy, they do not currently function together in the manner required for large-scale CO2 reduction. The challenge for CCS to be considered commercial is to integrate and scale up these components. Significant challenges remain in growing CCS from the megaton level where it is today to the gigaton level where it needs to be to help mitigate global climate change. These challenges, none of which are showstoppers, include lowering costs, developing needed infrastructure, reducing subsurface uncertainty, and addressing legal and regulatory issues. Progress will require a series of demonstration projects worldwide, an economically viable policy framework, and the evolution of a business model.
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