National Post (Latest Edition)

On the quest for Cleaner energy with carbon capture technology

- Melissa Vekil

As Canada looks to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s much discussion about the concept of a green recovery — a widely-used termfor the environmen­tal, regulatory, and fiscal reforms needed to recover prosperity after the pandemic.

The Inter government­al Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°c, emphasized that many clean energy technologi­es will be needed to mitigate climatecha­nge. Theworld needs clean technologi­es, and it needs them now.

In Canada, there is one technology that’s been successful formany years whose moment may have finally arrived: carbon capture and storage (CCS), which traps carbondiox­ide (CO23 ) and transports it to a storage location, usually deep undergroun­d.

Shell’ s quest facility lowe rs carbon emissions and costs

This year, the Shell- operated Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Alberta reached a major milestone: over five years, Quest officially captured five million tonnes of CO2 from oil sands operations and safely stored the CO2 undergroun­d. That amount of CO is equal to the annual emissions from about 1.25 million cars.

Innovative partnershi­ps like the Quest CCS facility can help Canada balance its economic and environmen­tal aspiration­s. Quest, which was constructe­d by Shell and started up in 2015, is a joint venture between Canadian Natural Resources, Shell, and Chevron, and received partial funding fromthe government­s of Canada and Alberta to build and run the facility.

“With quest, together with joint venture partners and government, we’ve shown the world that Canadians have the know-how-and technologi­es to lower carbon emissions and that CCS is working,” says Michael Crothers, President and Country Chair at Shell Canada.

Not only is Quest showing the world that Ccs works, it’s also showing that this technology can run at a lower cost than anticipate­d. If it were to be built again today, the Quest facility would cost about 30 percent less thanks to capital efficiency improvemen­ts.

“Our Scotford complex, where Quest is located, is synonymous with innovation,” says Crothers. “Not only is it among the most energy- efficient operations of its kind in the world, it’s also a platform for future opportunit­ies— an energy hub for the next generation. Wesee it as providing Canadians and global customers with lower- carbon energy solutions.”

Global leaders INCCS

While the quest ccs facility has proven to be a great success, for Canada to meet the 2050 net- zero emissions target set as part of its plan to fight climate change, CCS will need to continue to grow both in Alberta and in Canada at large. The good news is that the technology currently used to capture CO2 in facilities like quest canbe applied to existing industrial sources and growing sectors to lower CO2 emissions, such as hydrogen production and clean power generation.

“Widespread adoption OF CC Sis one of the key solutions the world needs right now to help solve the climate challenge,” says Crothers.

In Norway, together with Equinor and Total, Shell is looking to develop the Northern Lights project, a transport and storage solution for co from industrial sites in Europe. A decision is expected later this year on whether Norway will move ahead with the project. The northern Lights project has incorporat­ed lessons from the Quest facility, which has been sharing knowledge learned over the last five years to encourage greater adoption of CCS.

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 ??  ?? Michael Crothers President & Country Chair, Shell Canada
Michael Crothers President & Country Chair, Shell Canada
 ?? PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHELL CANADA ??
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHELL CANADA

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