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German experts petition EU to include carbon capture in RED

German experts on CO2 utilization from the Nova-Institut have launched a petition for the full integration of renewable carbon capture and utilisation (rCCU) in the EU Renewable Energy Directive.

According to the authors, the ongoing development of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework and the reform of the RED is a unique opportunity to establish a regulatory framework in which rCCU is fully integrated.

CO2 can be captured from biofuel and biogas production or various industrial processes, from flue gas from coal, natural gas, or crude oil plants (purified and conditioned) or directly from the air (direct air capture).

A wide range of fuels and chemicals can be produced from CO2 and H2 by catalytic processes, such as methanisation, methanol synthesis (and further processes), or Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.

CCU technologies also include biotechnology processes with bacterial systems, algae, cyanobacteria, and synthetic biology.

The different microorganisms process CO2 using different sources of energy and produce a wide range of fuels and chemicals.

The authors argue that CCU technologies will play a crucial role in the future renewable energy system and for climate protection.

CO2 is not just another raw material, by-product, or waste material, as in terms of volume it is the most important greenhouse gas.

When being processed with renewable energy, CO2 is an infinite resource for producing fuels and chemicals with a high potential for climate protection, the petition states.

Apart from offering an infinite solution to mankind’s ever growing hunger for resources, the most important role of rCCU is the ability to store renewable electricity over a long time without losses and to convert fluctuating renewable electricity into fuels (for transport and for reconversion into electricity) and chemicals.

Therefore, rCCU is systemically important for the liberalised electricity market, since it offers the much-needed possibility to increase the flexibility of the grid and, by this, to increase the share of renewables in the European electricity mix.

The petition calls on decision-makers to acknowledge that the EU cannot afford to miss or to delay the deployment of this new option to utilise and store renewable electricity.

The authors urge the EU to become the leader in rCCU, not only in research and development but especially in applying and fully utilising the potential.

Therefore, the petition asks those involved in the revision of the renewable package to include six crucial mechanisms in the legislation.

The rCCU sector does not yet have a lobby, which is normal for a new sector consisting only of pilot plants, and thus the authors want to give rCCU a strong voice.

The authors are asking for support for the petition and for additional comments and ideas.