An analysis of BECCS industries' methodology for certifying industrial carbon removals

26 März 2024

An analysis of BECCS industries' methodology for certifying industrial carbon removals

The European Commission is preparing methodologies for certifying industrial carbon removals, in particular for Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). BECCS is a proposed form of industrial carbon removal, which would aim to capture and store the excess atmospheric carbon dioxide which is heating the planet.

Leading scientists believe BECCS “risk[s] overstepping multiple planetary boundaries, with potentially irreversible consequences.”

To hold discussions on the EU’s proposed carbon removal methodologies, the EU set up an Expert Group. It is in this context that Drax and Stockholm Exergi, two energy companies that rely heavily on biomass, have sent their proposals for what BECCS methodologies should look like. These energy companies (from the UK and Sweden) are both planning to add Carbon Capture and Storage to their biomass installations.

Fern commissioned EU bioenergy and forest policy expert Duncan Brack to analyse Drax and Exergi’s proposed methodology, and he identified severe shortcomings including:

  • There is no guarantee that the BECCS projects will be additional, (that there will be less atmospheric carbon dioxide than there would have been without the project).
  • It assumes that all forest biomass feedstocks are carbon-neutral when this is not the case.
  • Criteria used to identify eligible biomass feedstocks incorrectly evaluate the climate impact of forest biomass extraction.
  • It ignores emissions from the on-site energy used in the carbon capture and storage process.

This analysis of Drax and Exergi’s proposal highlights the problems with relying on the very companies that would benefit from the building and operating industrial removals projects to create EU methodologies. 

Kategorien: Reports, Bioenergy, Carbon offsetting, Carbon removal

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