With current CO2 emissions reaching at a critical point, decarbonisation is necessary to limit the raise in global temperature well below 2°C and mitigate harmful climate-related effects on the planet.
Considering the urgency of the task at hand, a drastic reduction of carbon emissions must be complemented with options for greenhouse gas removals. Different solutions can deliver negative emissions: some of them are referred to as natural, others are technology based. In the first category afforestation and reforestation absorb CO2 through plant growth, modified agricultural practice can increase carbon storage in soil, thus removing it from the atmosphere (through incorporation of biochar in soils for example). Among the most promising NETs, Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) is the most mature and allows for the production of clean energy coupled with the permanent capture of CO2. To reach Paris Agreement’s objectives a wise mix of complementary solutions will have to be used.
Bioenergy Carbon Capture and storage combines biomass energy applications with the capture and storage of CO2 thus providing net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. The best results in terms of the direction of mitigating climate change can be achieved if BECCS -solutions are used as an additional tool to conventional mitigation - to be combined with a prompt scaling-up of bioenergy. As bioenergy is integrated in numerous industrial sectors, bioenergy carbon capture and storage is a versatile technology that can be applied to power generation (BECCS) and to different installations ( in cement, ethanol, pulp and paper among others) using biomass as feedstock. Sustainability of the biomass feedstock used is paramount for BECCS to deliver negative carbon emissions and the EU legislation provides the right tools to ensure this. Although already proven, technical complexities inherent to the technology would require more R&I efforts, and thus further public support and a dedicated legislative framework facilitating its uptake and its economic profitability.