In support of the EU’s climate-neutrality commitment, the European Commission has proposed the introduction of the Net-Zero Industry Act to provide a regulatory framework for the rapid development of net zero industry in the EU.

The act, as part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan, identifies and supports particular strategic net zero technologies that are currently or soon to be commercially available, and have significant potential for rapid scale-up to contribute to the EU’s decarbonisation targets.

Support for Carbon Capture Use and Storage

The Net-Zero Industry Act identifies carbon capture and storage (CCS) as one of eight strategic net zero technologies, enabling priority support for CCS and other strategic projects essential for reinforcing the resilience and competitiveness of the EU net zero industry.

The act proposes to support priority projects by cutting red tape and streamlining permitting procedures, stimulating innovation and attracting further investment.

Most notably, the proposed legislation includes the targeted development of 50 million tonnes of annual CO2 storage capacity in the EU by 2030 with the aim to “establish a Union single market for CO2 storage services that large-scale CO2 emitters, including hard-to-abate industrial sectors, can rely on to decarbonise their operations.”

This targeted CO2 storage capacity is addition to other CO2 storage infrastructure being developed elsewhere in Europe, including in Norway and the UK.

The development of accessible CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is critical for industries with unavoidable CO2 emissions, such as cement and lime, to decarbonise.

Responsible for around 8% of global CO2 emissions, cement and lime represent two of our most indispensible and hard-to-abate industries. Unlike other industries, they are inherently carbon intensive. Typically, over 60% of the emissions that result from cement and lime production are unavoidable process emissions, released directly from the raw material.

Abatement of process CO2 is essential to enable cement and lime producers to meet emissions reduction targets – and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is the only viable abatement solution for unavoidable process emissions.     

Government support that helps to solve the question of ‘what to do with the captured CO2‘ will help to provide certainty for industry to invest in suitable decarbonisation technologies and can help to further drive down the CO2 transport and storage costs of decarbonising industries with no alternative to carbon capture.