Last week, NECCUS delivered their first keynote session at Offshore Europe titled “CCUS & Hydrogen – Can We Deliver at Scale?”. This discussion featured a panel which included industry leaders from the Net Zero Technology Centre, Aker Carbon Solutions, Wood Mackenzie, IEA and Shell.

The introductory framing discussion from NECCUS highlighted how much progress has been made since the last Offshore Europe Conference in September 2019, as a lot has changed in the past two years:

Political Emphasis

Political emphasis has been placed on Hydrogen and CCUS with cornerstone strategies such as the UK 10-point plan, EU Green Deal, and the recent US Infrastructure Bill which put clear targets in place for their deployment in the later part of this decade. Government funding has been identified for large-scale projects, and ‘first-of-a-kind’, anchor projects are being delivered.

CCUS & Hydrogen Projects

The most recent report by the GCCSI defined 65 CCUS projects globally (a 25% increase on the prior year) with 28 currently in operation and capturing roughly 40 Mt p.a. Further, a report by the Hydrogen Council & McKinsey identified 359 Hydrogen projects globally producing some 70 Mt/year – most for large scale industrial use.

Change has been rapid, but there is still much more that needs to be done to meet net-zero targets.

The most recent DNV Energy Transitions report, launched last week, projects Hydrogen accounting for 5% of the global energy mix by 2050 – 270 Mt/yr. Despite this, the same report suggests that a 20% hydrogen mix will be needed to deliver net-zero targets and the 1.5deg warming target. The report also forecasts that CCUS will be capturing 1,300 Mt of CO2 p.a. in 2050 (from 40 Mt today) – however the GCCSI projects a potential need for 5,000 Mt by that same time. In line with this, the scale and build-up in both CCUS and Hydrogen needs to match, and even exceed, the scale up of renewables in the last 20 years.

As a result, NECCUS has called for the need to:

  1. Transform national infrastructure to transport H2 and CO2.
  2. Store both H2 and CO2 at scale – safely and cost-effectively.
  3. Rapidly transform the workforce and supply chain to deliver these (whilst shortening the learning curve and technology adoption timescales).
  4. Achieving all the above whilst bringing society along in a just manner.