Growth of Carbon Capture and Storage Stalled in 2011

Global funding for carbon capture and storage technology, a tool for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, remained unchanged at US$23.5 billion in 2011 in comparison to the previous year, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. Although there are currently 75 large-scale, fully integrated carbon capture and storage projects in 17 countries at various stages of development, only eight are operational—a figure that has not changed since 2009. Carbon capture and storage, more commonly known as CCS, refers to the technology that attempts to capture carbon dioxide from a human-created source—often industry and power generation systems—and then store it in permanent geologic reservoirs so that it never enters the atmosphere. The United States is the leading funder of large-scale CCS projects, followed by the European Union and Canada. The new Worldwatch report, part of the Institute’s Vital Signs Online series analyzing key global trends, discusses a variety of new CCS projects and facilities throughout the world. Among these is the Century Plant in the United States, which began operating in 2010.