Since 2007, the European Union has spent at least €587 million in grants, subsidies, and public procurement on Carbon Capture and Sequestration. But, as of 2017, the EU has zero CCS demonstration plants.
Ten years ago, EU leaders said there were “huge possible global benefits of a sustainable use of fossil fuels”.
They said, after a summit in Brussels in March 2007, that a technology called ‘carbon capture and sequestration’, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), should be deployed with new fossil-fuel power plants by 2020.
This technology would reduce the negative impact the extensive use of energy sources coal, oil, and gas have on the earth’s climate.
Brussels also said the EU should have twelve “demonstration plants of sustainable fossil fuel technologies in commercial power generation” operating by 2015.
EUobserver has found that a decade later, the European Union has spent at least €587 million in grants, subsidies, and public procurement on CCS.
This website has been able to identify 63 projects that received an EU subsidy or grant in the past decade, and another five public procurement projects, related to CCS.
But, as of 2017, the EU has zero CCS demonstration plants.
The biggest chunk went to recipients of the European Energy Programme for Recovery, set up in 2009, during the financial and economic crisis.
Under the plan, €1 billion would be made available to fund CCS projects. Six projects across Europe were selected.
However, these soon ran into problems.
Within five years, three of the projects – in Germany, Poland, and Italy – had been terminated, while the others, in Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands, had been considerably delayed.
According to a European Commission document from 2013, the German and Italian projects were cancelled because they were unable to acquire the required environmental permits.
The project in Germany also experienced fierce public opposition to the idea of storing carbon underground.
Poland had similar challenges. “Very limited progress was achieved in 2012 due to critical financing, legal, technical risks and public acceptance issues as regards CO2 storage,” the commission said about the Polish CCS project.