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Commission unveils support for European carbon capture and storage schemes


16 Oct 2009


Climate & Environment

Europe's first commercial scale coal-fired power stations equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology will be built in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Poland, Spain and Italy.

Documents presented to the European Parliament and made public TODAY (file available - see link below) reveal that the European Commission is recommending that five of the six schemes be awarded an initial subsidy of €180 million, to be matched by an equivalent sum from national governments. The Italian project will receive €100 million.

The projects are located at: Germany - Jaenschwalde; Netherlands - Rotterdam; Poland - Belchatow; Spain - Compostilla (Leon); UK - Hatfield; Italy - Porto Tolle. An evaluation of each project is included within the supporting documentation. All were described by the Commission as "very good."

The Commission presented its proposals to a confidential meeting of technical experts from European governments on 2 October. The European Parliament now has a period of four weeks in which to raise objections to the proposal, but this is thought to be unlikely.

A total budget of €1.05 billion has been allocated from the European Economic Recovery Programme towards CCS development. Schemes which are regarded as able to commence immediately benefitted from the importance attached to using the money to provide an economic stimulus.

Chris Davies, the British Liberal Democrat Euro-MP who steered CCS legislation through the European Parliament last year, said he was hugely excited by the news. “CCS is moving off the drawing board and into practical application. It’s a technology that has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by a vast amount. Unless we can deal with the problem of emissions from large power plants it is impossible to imagine how we can bring global warming under control."

The European Union is committed to having up to 12 CCS commercial demonstration projects in operation by 2015. The initial funding proposals now revealed are expected to be supplemented next year by additional support worth up to €6 billion.

The documents made public today reveal the location of CCS plants recommended by the European Commission. Intensive backroom lobbying by France is said to have ensured that a small project in that country will be added to the final list.

Documents relating to this can be found at


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