Carbon capture and storage (CCS) should only be used sparingly to decarbonise sectors for which there is no alternative, a senior figure at Engie has argued.

The head of the company’s strategy department, Adeline Duterque, made the comments at the Future of Energy Summit held by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London yesterday (2 October).

“CCS is a scarce resource,” said Duterque. “You need particular geographical characteristics”.

She continued: “This scarcity must be dedicated to some sectors that you cannot decarbonise otherwise, for example, the production of cement.

“It’s like a deus ex machina to make things work”.

Earlier at the event, Duterque said CCS should be used in combination with biogas in the power sector to fill gaps in renewable generation and create negative emissions to offset unavoidable emissions from other industries.

She claimed this would be more economically viable than using hydrogen for large-scale seasonal energy storage.

Mallika Ishwaran, senior economist for group strategy at Shell, said a strong carbon price will be necessary for CCS to succeed: “It’s a technology that doesn’t have value in itself. It has value if we put a price of carbon. That’s where its value is derived.”

“I think it does need concerted action on the carbon price,” she added.

Ishwaran said CCS will also need government support in terms of planning and liability issues relating to storage.

Duterque suggested that carbon prices may need to vary between sectors: “Maybe it’s the right way forward to set different carbon prices, instead of having one-size-fits-all.”

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