The world has been running almost entirely on fossil fuels for the past 40 years. It is estimated that fossil fuels currently supply over 80% of the worlds energy needs and will continue to do so for decades to come.
As a result of such a high level of dependence on fossil fuels, we release billions of tons of carbon dioxide or CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby worsening the global warming problem.
It is general consensus by experts that it is necessary to reduce the release of C02 in the atmosphere by at least 50% in the next 20 years. Possible solutions need to be brought forward because energy demands will increase by a whopping 50% by 2030. Renewable energy is expected to make up only 30% of the energy mix by this date, so the only answer to the problem is to have a combination of energy solutions. One of the most vital components of the required energy solutions mix is carbon capture and storage.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) (or carbon capture and sequestration) is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, normally an underground geological formation. The aim is to prevent the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere from fossil fuel use in power generation and other industries.
CCS has the potential to capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes around the world. This positions it as a good option for mitigating the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming and ocean acidification.
At every point in the CCS chain, from production to storage, there are a number of process technologies that are well understood. These processes have good health and safety records. For CCS to be deployed commercially, there should be widespread adoption of best practice CCS techniques, with good monitoring methods and Government regulations.