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2009 ‘pivotal year’ for carbon sequestration

polluting-chimneysThis year promises to be a critical one for the nascent carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) industry, according to a new study from Emerging Energy Research (EER).

The study, “Global Carbon Sequestration Markets & Strategies, 2009 – 2030,” notes that more than 120 carbon sequestration projects are currently under way around the globe, with most of them located in western Europe, the US, western Canada and Australia. Funding for large-scale demonstration projects has already topped $25 billion (US), and that figure is expected to grow as governments enact economic stimulus packages, the EER said.

While CCS technology could help reduce carbon emissions while enabling society to tap the world’s coal resources, the industry still faces many hurdles, the study says. These include high costs, long-term liability and uncertainty over future climate policies.

“While sequestration solutions have been demonstrated on a trial basis, carbon sequestration’s commercial viability on a broad scale is still uncertain,” said Alex Klein, EER’s research director.

How governments around the world manage the current global economic crisis could help determine the future fate of CCS, he added.

“Major carbon policy decisions that could mold the carbon regulatory landscape and economic framework for carbon capture and sequestration for the next decade are hanging in the balance,” Klein said.

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