Economy ministry plans carbon capture strategy
The German economy ministry looks set to reevaluate the country’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) law this year, Tagesspiegel Background reports. While politically unpopular, the concept of capturing carbon dioxide and storing it in underground geological formations is something that is certain to be a major issue, according to Bernhard Kluttig, who oversees industrial policy at the ministry. "We cannot avoid developing a carbon management strategy," Kluttig said at a discussion hosted by plant manufacturer MAN and the German Association of Industrial Energy Consumers (VIK). Companies like MAN and Norwegian NGO Bellona are pushing for such a strategy in order to manage the industry's unavoidable long-term emissions.
The German government has said it would examine the injection of CO2 under the North Sea and is considering financial support for the first major projects, including operating cost subsidies -- known as carbon contracts for difference (CCfD) -- via climate protection agreements with industrial players, writes Tagesspiegel. However, the government has yet to develop a holistic carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) strategy. Such a strategy could be linked with the country’s hydrogen strategy, which also involves so-called blue hydrogen from natural gas with CCS. Germany’s existing CCS law from 2012 is due for review this year. The Greens, who are part of the governing coalition, have traditionally opposed CCUS but that may change. "The federal government needs a clear carbon management strategy," said MP Robin Mesarosch, CCUS rapporteur for the SPD parliamentary group, adding that CCUS was "absolutely necessary", otherwise Germany will not achieve its climate targets. German industry has previously pushed for greater discussion on the need for CCUS.