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Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage: From global potentials  to domestic realities
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1912-5538
2018 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book explores the role of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in climate governance. It starts by discussing BECCS’ global mitigation potential, as depicted in the idealized world of climate scenarios. Chapter 2 shows that almost all climate scenarios compatible with the high likelihood of limiting global warming to 2°C deploy BECCS. While excluding BECCS from these models’ technology portfolios does not necessarily make 2°C compatible scenarios impossible, it does mean that the projected cost of meeting that goal increases. 

In this context, based on interviews with integrated assessment modelers, chapter 3 illustrates how the use of the word “projected” is deliberate and significant. The modelers insist that they are dealing with projections, not predictions. At the same time, this modesty is contrasted to a core willingness to wield political influence. 

Chapter 4, which applies a crude method to map European point sources of biogenic CO2, indicates that the scenarios for Europe can be associated with factual potentials. The European pulp and paper industry emitted approximately 60–66 Mt of biogenic CO2 in 2015. To a lesser extent, there is also potential to capture biogenic CO2 from the production of electricity, heat, and biofuels. 

While R&D into BECCS has previously been framed as a “slippery slope” triggering objectionable consequences, for example, concerning food security, chapter 5 argues that realizing BECCS should instead be seen as an uphill struggle. This conclusion gains support in chapter 6, which maps existing policy incentives for BECCS. This exercise reveals an almost complete lack of political initiatives to deploy BECCS, indicating that the climate scenarios’ large-scale xi  deployment of BECCS could be seen as detached from reality. 

The book ends with chapter 7, which illustrates how UN and Swedish climate policy objectives have indeed influenced companies to get involved in planning for negative emissions, but also shows how the lack of policy incentives has put “sticks in the wheel” when it comes to affirmative investment decisions. While some funding sources for R&D and capital expenditures are highlighted, the primary concern is the lack of market pull that would provide revenues to cover operational expenditures. 

This book highlights the many caveats involved in moving from the theoretical potentials identified at the global scale to economically viable potentials facing investors at the business scale. It concludes that overcoming the challenges associated with realizing the theoretical potentials will be daunting, a true uphill struggle. Yet, with appropriate policy incentives, BECCS may still come to play an important role in the struggle to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brussels: European Liberal Forum , 2018. , p. 98
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152553ISBN: 9789187379475 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-152553DiVA, id: diva2:1261268
Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage: From global potentials to domestic realities(1919 kB)154 downloads
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Fridahl, Mathias

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CiteExportLink to record
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