WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) today released a new installment of Resources Radio: “Going Deep on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), with Julio Friedmann.”
In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy, as well as a former principal deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy. A leading advocate for expanding carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, Friedmann contends that prominent concerns about the viability, affordability, and safety of CCUS do not stand up to scrutiny. Elaborating on his recent research, Friedmann argues that a variety of policies could be leveraged to spur broader deployment of CCUS.
Notable quotes from the podcast:
- Global scope of CCUS: “We now have 20 projects operating around the world today. Every year, we capture and inject about 40 million tons of CO2. It's like taking eight or nine million cars off the road … We've got nine or 10 projects [in North America]. There are projects in the North Sea, there's projects in northern Norway. There's three projects in the Middle East, there's a project in Brazil, a very large project in Australia that came online just earlier this year, and, as of recently, a project in China, as well. So, we really can do this globally and are doing this globally.” (6:38)
- CCUS is a feasible strategy: “We've had 15 or 20 years of research and geological assessment and calibration and testing, and that gives us a lot of knowledge. And the conservative estimates for the global storage volume for CO2 are between 10 and 20 trillion tons of capacity. I'll say that again: 10 to 20 trillion tons of capacity. For comparison, historical emissions for human beings total about 2 trillion tons. We have more than enough volume in the subsurface to do this.” (17:13)
- Many policies can expand CCUS, but consequences vary: “There are lots of different policies that can work, and depending on what you want, you choose different policy. [In our research], we found that revenue enhancements were the best policies compared to, say, tax or capital treatments ... But if you're the government, and you just want to hand people a big bag of cash—you can do that, and we tell you how big it has to be. If you want to give tax breaks, we tell you how to do that and how big it has to be.” (27:34)
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