The World Bank hosted the workshop Addressing barriers to Carbon Capture and Storage in Developing Countries on September 6th - 9th 2011 at World Bank HQ, Washington D.C., with the objectives of sharing the experiences of developed and developing countries engaged in CCS programs, and to provide a platform for discussions on addressing financial barriers for CCS deployment. Supported by the World Bank CCS Trust Fund, the workshop was sponsored by the Australia-based Global CCS Institute and the Government of Norway, and held in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).
The program included a day of CCS training, covering elements from the technologies and geology of storage, to the associated legal and regulatory frameworks necessary for deployment. The workshop sessions were split over two days, with the first day focusing on individual country experiences in CCS development, and the second day on panel discussions from different stakeholder groups on financing mechanisms for CCS deployment. A tour site to the AEP Mountaineer plant in West Virginia, where a CCS demonstration project has been in operation, was also arranged.
Workshop participants included government representatives from nine emerging economies, including Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Kosovo, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia, as well as donor governments, such as the UK and Norway. Representatives from Multilateral Development Banks, NGOs, academia, utilities and private companies were also present and involved in the discussions.
The proceedings were opened by Sustainable Energy Department Director, S. Vijay Iyer, setting the scene in terms of the objectives and intended outcomes of the workshop, which were centered on knowledge sharing and learning from different countries’ experiences. Professor Edward Rubin from Carnegie Mellon University gave the keynote address, explaining how it’s so important to consider the role of developing countries in climate change mitigation technologies, given the expected trends in CO2 emissions, and that the key to moving forward with CCS development is setting policies to provide the necessary incentives. Professor Rubin also informed the workshop participants that when considering policies to address the barriers facing CCS, and mechanisms for financing in particular, that it is very important to keep in mind the fundamental reasons why this technology should be considered. The severe damage that could result from climate change should be in the forefront of policy makers’ minds, as sometimes it is easy to lose the significance of the importance of the challenge of climate change mitigation, when engaged in technical discussions.
Presentations were made by government representatives of all the countries with capacity building programs supported by the World Bank CCS Trust Fund, on the activities that are currently planned and underway to further CCS development, and how the Trust Fund support is contributing to these efforts. Presenters explained how it is useful to hear about the status of other countries in terms of their progression towards creating enabling environments for CCS. For example, it was pointed out that South Africa is particularly advanced in terms of policy and government support, with a CCS development roadmap and the creation of the South Africa Centre for CCS under the Department of Energy. China, on the other hand, is advanced in terms of CCS development projects being undertaking by various companies, such as China Huaneng Group and China Power Investment Corporation.
The issue of human capital, and the importance of training local engineers and experts was a common theme heard throughout the day from many different countries. This sentiment was echoed by representatives of donor governments, recognizing that although support is needed in the near term, developing countries cannot rely on financial and human capital transfers continually through the operational phases of CCS projects.
The second day of the workshop focused on discussions of different mechanisms for financing CCS, sparked by a presentation by Larry Hegan of the Global CCS Institute on the recommendations of the Clean Energy Ministerial. Discussion panelists from emerging economies agreed that a dedicated CCS fund could be a good way of initially providing funding, however it is important to ensure that access to such a fund is not obstructed by overly-bureaucratic processes. Another important point that was made throughout the day was the extent to which CCS development is location specific. For example, it was noted that local geology and regulatory frameworks will, by default, be different for every country, whereas some of the other aspects to deployment, such as capture technologies, may be more similar regardless of location.
On a panel of MDBs and donor representatives, Vijay Iyer from the World Bank made the important point that CCS faces challenges on multiple fronts in terms of gaining traction in developing countries. Firstly, developing country governments must prioritize across sectors, whether those are education, sanitation, health, energy etc. Wherever energy falls into that remit, and only if there are ambitions of CO2 emissions mitigation, CCS is just one of the technologies available among other low emission options competing for financing, such as wind, solar, biomass etc. Therefore, it is important to consider how CCS could fit within the larger policy goals of each country individually.
During the Q&A discussion, Paal Frisvold of the Bellona Foundation, a Norwegian NGO, explained that paving the way for CCS in developing countries is not only about ‘North to South’ transfers of expertise and capital, but is actually an opportunity for developing countries to lead the way, especially in terms of manufacturing and exporting parts for the technology.
Throughout the day, many options of financing were discussed, such as subsidies financed through surcharges on other technologies with higher emissions levels, a so called ‘wire-charge’. The fact that many other low CO2 emission technologies, such as wind and solar, enjoy government subsidies and mandates, while CCS currently does not, was also discussed. It was agreed that it is important to bear this in mind when comparing across technology costs, to ensure the true costs and not prices resulting from government support are compared.
The workshop brought together stakeholders in the CCS arena across different sectors and countries, as well as both developing countries and potential financiers for future projects. The discussion provided a platform to speak frankly about experiences and plans for the future, and also allowed for new contacts and networks to be developed with the hope of continuing the conversation and opportunities to collaborate and share experiences.
Audience & Agenda |
Industry participants, including the chemical, mining and power sectors.
Policymakers and government officials in energy, environment, mining or any other ministry relevant to CCS
Representatives from development organizations undertaking projects in the region
Representatives from Multilateral Development Banks, intergovernmental organizations and research institutes working on issues relevant to CCS
On September 9, 2011, a tour of the Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration project that has been operating at the AEP Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia was held. More information about the plant can be found here: