Mar 08, 2021 News
“It is time to think about making money out of CO2 emissions.” – Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific Head of Markets and Transitions, Prakash Sharma
Kaieteur News – With over 100 nations seeking to reach ambitious climate goals in the next few decades, energy research and consultancy firm, Wood Mackenzie, projects that carbon removal could become a trillion dollar industry.
The Paris Climate treaty seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Getting to 1.5 degrees will be impossible without capturing, storing and using huge volumes of CO2,” said Wood Mackenzie Principal Analyst Energy Transition Practice, Tom Heggarty.
Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific Head of Markets and Transitions, Prakash Sharma, said: “To be on a 1.5-degree pathway, carbon support prices will need to reach US$160 per tonne (t) of CO2 by 2030. The global average carbon price across various regimes stood at US$22/tCO2 at the end of 2020.”
Sharma said: “It is time to think about making money out of CO2 emissions. Technologies to recycle carbon into new products are available, but they are expensive and need strong policy action. If all goes well, this could become a trillion-dollar industry globally.”
Altogether, the firm said that a lot of money could be made from carbon capture and storage.
According to Wood Mackenzie Americas Head of Markets and Transitions, David Brown, “US$ 50 trillion is the minimum capex level required to reach a 1.5-degree world. US$27 trillion will come from new power capacity, energy storage, electrolyzers and CCS [carbon capture and storage] deployments through to 2050, while US$23 trillion is required to cover associated infrastructure, battery metals and hydrocarbons.”
The firm said in a March 4 release that governments everywhere need policies geared at carbon reduction for hard-to-abate industries.
The idea is that, with increases in carbon pricing, companies would be influenced to fund carbon capture strategies and solutions. ExxonMobil, for instance, has been pumping cash into carbon capture initiatives.
In order for the oil industry, populated by the world’s largest emitters, to survive for another few decades, they need to invest in carbon removal.
Furthermore, “There are opportunities to commercialize and use captured carbon,” Heggarty said.
Wood Mac noted that carbon already has established uses in enhanced oil recovery and beverage industries, with new uses emerging: “Captured carbon can also be recycled into new products, storing CO2 permanently, and reducing the carbon footprint of several key industries, such as cement, methanol and fertilizers. Currently, these products are produced using hydrocarbons. If these industries fully switch to using recycled CO2, there is potential to eliminate 3.5 billion tonnes (Bt) carbon.”
This firm posited that the power and industrial sectors have an important role to play in decarbonization, with the potential for the removal of eight billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050 from these sectors alone. It said that there is also potential for the removal of four billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through nature-based solutions like reforestation, taking total carbon removal potential to 12 billion tonnes, equivalent to 350 billion trees planted.
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