EU Parliament Hearing and GATEWAY Kick-off

By Elisabeth Tanami Vågenes, SINTEF Energy Research

Thursday 12 November, 2015, was an important and encouraging day for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Europe.

The day started with a high-level hearing titled «Towards a global CCS breakthrough: Lessons from abroad & a plan for the EU”, took place in the European parliament. Around 120 attendees participated. The hearing was hosted by Members of Parliament Theresa Griffin (S&D, UK) and Krišjanis Karinš (EPP, LV), ZEP, CCSA and GCCSI, in association with the GATEWAY project and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Hearing at EU Parliament

From the EU parliament hearing. Photo: Hilde Harket

Project members from the power, cement and steel sectors in the US, Canada and Norway discussed their experiences before entering into a high-level discussion on the EU policy framework and the role for CCS in achieving EU energy and climate objectives. Recent work from ZEP on an Executable plan for CCS in Europe was highlighted, providing the steps needed to for full deployment of CCS in Europe. The main conclusion was that CCS is technologically feasible and that CCS deployment is now only dependent on financing and policy incentives.

After the hearing in the parliament, the GATEWAY project held its external kick-off meeting at Leopold Hotel – a short walk from the parliament. The event attracted key stakeholders from policy-making institutions, governments, industry, research and NGOs. The event opened with a nice lunch, before getting started on the agenda.


GATEWAY ladies_2

Central SINTEF employees in the GATEWAY project: (from left) Amy Brunsvold, Elisabeth T. Vågenes, Marie Bysveen and Jana P. Jakobsen. Photo: Hilde Harket

Following an introduction about the project, a handful of high-level stakeholders elaborated on the following issues:

  • The importance (or not) of a Pan-European infrastructure for CO2
  • What are the key issues that GATEWAY can help to facilitate infrastructure investments

Graeme Sweeney (ZEP chairman), Michael Schutz (DG Energy), Gerdi Breembroek (Netherlands Enterprise Agency), Stuart Hazeldine (University of Edinburgh) and Andrew Purvis (Global CCS Institute) had prepared introductory statements. And there was no shortage on impulse statements from others in the audience.

There was broad consensus that there is a need for significant investments in transport and storage infrastructure in the coming decade.  This needs to happen fast, and involves taking risks. The advice given was varied, and to some extent conflicting, but the interest and the engagement shown in the meeting room that day is very promising for Europe and the deployment of CCS.

More information can be found on the GATEWAY web.