Jan 292014
 
Cooling towers

Following the Norwegian government’s decision to pull the plug on the only full-scale carbon capture and storage trial in Europe, questions are being asked about the technology’s future. Mark Rowe reports.
The debate over just where we’ll get our energy from in the future seems to shift on a daily basis, from renewables to nuclear to shale fracking to just keeping our fingers crossed. Another approach has focused on doing pretty much what we do now – merrily burning fossil fuels – but somehow making that process cleaner and less environmentally damaging.
This technology, known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), involves collecting carbon dioxide – typically as it’s being emitted – and then sequestering it away in a secure location, typically in an underground geological location such as an exhausted offshore oil well. It’s contentious: advocates argue that it can be a nuanced transition mechanism that buys us time to move across to a mainstream supply of renewables; environmentalists are more suspicious and, pointing to the track record of the oil and gas industry, conclude that CCS may be little more than an excuse for business as usual.
This article was published in Geographical in January 2014. Read it here.

  •  29 January 2014