Nils Christian Holm

Global Spearhead Director, Energy from Waste

T: +45 5161 8648

Mark Wilson

Head of Department, Power generation UK

T: +44 7436 833 375

Fact box

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) technologies involve the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fuel combustion or industrial processes, the transport of this CO2 via ship or pipeline, and either its use as a resource to create valuable products or services or its permanent storage deep underground in geological formations.

CCUS technologies also provide the foundation for carbon removal or "negative emissions" when the CO2 comes from bio-based processes or directly from the atmosphere.

Source: IEA

In Ramboll we foresee that over the coming years CCS will contribute with significant reductions in CO2 emissions within power, industry and waste management. Efficient and safe CCS is also a precondition for the production of “blue” hydrogen – i.e. hydrogen produced from natural gas but where the CO2 generated by the production process is captured and stored.

Decarbonisation of many sectors will initially be driven by electrification. However, sectors such as aviation, passenger shipping and heavy road transport are difficult to electrify. For some of these sectors, “green” hydrogen produced from renewable power may contribute to the transition either directly or by synthesis of hydrogen and CO2 to produce new fuels. Carbon will also continue to be required for the production of a range of chemicals and materials. To cover these needs, CO2 captured from concentrated point sources may in the future represent a value and an opportunity.

”CCS/CCU is not a “license” to reduce our other efforts to decarbonise the world. However it is foreseen to contribute in an important way to reaching the aspirations of the Paris Agreement   ” 
 – Nils Christian Holm, Director of Energy Generation at Ramboll.

Carbon capture technologies and safe underground storage of CO2 are already being applied in several countries. Studies show that there is abundant practical storage capacity worldwide.

When carbon is captured from processes based on sustainable biogenic sources, CCS will even create negative carbon emissions. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that most studies of pathways to the year 2100 which fulfil the Paris Agreement will require such negative emissions. 

Some countries have started planning this journey in earnest. In Denmark, for example, Parliament has passed a law requiring the country to become carbon neutral by 2050 and to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030. The precise plans for how to reach this ambitious target are currently being developed, but it is already now clear that CCS and CCU will be important elements of the transition.

Following the 2019 amendment of the 2008 Climate Change Act, the UK Government has committed to a 2050 ‘Net Zero’ CO2 emissions target. By applying clear and decisive policy, regulation and cross-sector action, current projections indicate a ‘zero carbon’ electricity sector coupled with a ‘carbon negative’ power generation sector is required, with the deployment of CCS – in particular bio-energy CCS (BECCS) to deliver ‘negative emissions’ – playing an essential role.  With the right policy framework for the strong uptake of CCS in the UK, the market could be worth £6.5bn/ year to the UK economy by the end of the 2020s and support more than 100,000 quality jobs (ref: DECC CCS Roadmap).

In the US, there are 10 large-scale CCS facilities capturing more than 25 mtpa of CO2, with over two dozen more facilities set to be announced once 45Q tax credit guidance and rules are finalised. Aside from CCS facilities, the US Department of Energy is also spearheading an effort to identify and develop geologic storage for 50 million tonnes of CO2 through its Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise Initiative, known as CarbonSAFE. There continues to be a substantial effort within industrial clusters to gain scale and corresponding economic benefits.

In several countries across Europe there is significant focus on CCS in the waste-to-energy sector to not only become carbon neutral but even to contribute to the transition with negative emissions. As an example, the Danish Waste Association has drawn up a strategy for how to make the Danish waste-to-energy sector carbon neutral by 2030 and for the sector to produce negative emissions beyond that.

”CCS and CCU may eventually lead to some sectors not only eliminating their own CO2 emissions, but also contributing to negative emissions.” – Nils Christian Holm, Director of Energy Generation at Ramboll.

CCS and CCU are young industries which are subject to both significant “learning effects” and “economies of scale”. This means that growth and size of the industry are important for the cost of the transition. Hence, governments and relevant industries should lead the way by setting ambitious targets.

In Ramboll we share the ambition of both those who emit CO2, those who could potentially store it, those who can deliver renewable energy to convert the carbon to usable products or sustainable fuels and those who are potential off takers of these fuels. We actively engage in this transition by supporting our clients on a range of carbon capture projects in different industries. Click on the items below to learn more about our carbon capture projects.

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Waste-to-energy plants

With CCUS the waste-to-energy industry has the potential to become carbon neutral and even contribute with negative emissions. There is growing interest in this, and Ramboll is currently supporting several waste-to-energy plants in Europe in assessing the feasibility of CCS. Also for the Danish Waste Association Ramboll is assessing the cost of CCS for the sector. At the new Amager Bakke plant in Copenhagen, we are a partner in the establishment of a large-scale carbon capture pilot plant aiming to showcase the possibility to achieve 100% energy efficiency. Ramboll was also involved in the world’s first full-scale waste-to-energy carbon capture plant in Duiven, the Netherlands.

Biogas plants

Upgrading of biogas by capturing CO2 from raw biogas has become increasingly common at biogas production facilities. To capture the CO2, these plants typically also use an amine scrubbing process. Ramboll has provided technical advisory/owner’s engineer services for many full-scale biogas plants, including upgrading/carbon capture plants, for instance at eight different locations in Denmark for Nature Energy. In recent years, utilisation of the CO2 in the food and beverage industry or for methanisation has received increased attention, and several of our references include compression and/or liquefaction of CO2 and methane in addition to carbon capture/gas upgrading.

Industry

CCUS has a potential to decarbonise industry without affecting its core operations. Industrial locations are ideal sites for CCUS clusters enabling the storage, transport and utilisation of CO2 while exploiting the benefits of economy of scale. Ramboll can support our industrial clients, who we have traditionally supported with engineering design and environmental compliance and permitting services, with their transition to net zero.

Coal-fired power plants

As coal-fired CHP plants are among the major point sources of CO2 emissions, they are prime candidates for carbon capture. Ramboll has worked with installation of a carbon capture pilot plant at a coal-fired power station in Esbjerg, Denmark. In addition, Ramboll has participated in countless studies of green-field and retrofit installations of carbon capture on coal-fired CHP plants.

CCGT plants

In the EU, carbon capture readiness (CCR) is required for combustion plants such as CCGT plants with an electrical generating capacity of 300 MW or more. Ramboll has performed several such CCR studies in the UK, including the technical and economic feasibility of capturing, transporting and storing emissions of CO2 to determine whether the power stations can be fitted with CCS. In Norway, Ramboll was the owner’s engineer in connection with the technology development of a full-scale carbon capture plant at the Mongstad CCGT power plant for sequestration of CO2 to be exported into oil fields in the North Sea off the coast of Norway.
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