Energy Excursions

The Bigger Picture

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology is a critical component in establishing global, sustainable energy systems. Yet, deployment has been slow to take off with only ~ 20 commercial CCUS projects worldwide. But momentum is building as evidenced by more than 30 commercial CCUS projects announced in the last several years. And despite the Covid‑19 crisis, in 2020 governments and industry committed more than $4.5 billion to CCUS.1IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency.

High cost is the most frequently stated reason for the slow deployment of CCUS. Several factors are commonly cited to explain its cost problem:

  • The inability of CCUS to compete with wind and solar electricity given their spectacular fall in costs over the last decade
  • Climate policies—including carbon pricing—not strong enough to make CCUS economically attractive

CCUS proponents argue that to dismiss the technology on cost grounds would be to ignore its unique strengths, its competitiveness in key sectors and its potential to enter the mainstream of low-carbon solutions.2IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency.


In the following pages we will present some valuable discussion from the IEA (International Energy Agency), a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis originally dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil. Since its establishment, the IEA has expanded its role to cover the entire global energy system and is best known for it annual World Energy Outlook publication.3International Energy Agency. (2021, June 24). In Wikipedia. The IEA has 30 member countries (including the United States) and eight association countries.4IEA. (2021, January 26). Membership.

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