It's No Gas: Norway's Karstø Cuts Back Before It Even Gets CO2 Capture


Norway may be scaling back tests of the size of a ship's container

Norway, which generates 99 percent of its electricity from hydro power, needs new electricity sources. Rather than fund wind and other renewable sources by joining Sweden's green certificate market in 2006, Norway heavily hedged its bets on building gas-fired plants, promising to employ carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, and in the process hoping to become a CCS world leader.

At this moment the bet seems to have...well, backfired. The country's first gas-fired plant, Karstø, has run at full capacity only 2 out of the 11 weeks it has officially been online. With gas prices high and electricity prices low, it just isn't economically justified to keep the plant online. So how, one would wonder, could it be feasible to add on CCS? Thus far, Aker Clean Carbon is ploughing ahead with (government subsidized) plans for an 875 NOK (US$171 million) carbon capture technology called Just Catch that it says can create zero carbon emissions at Karstø (it uses biogas to power the CCS)...five or more years down the road. Pressed for time to get Just Catch up and running by 2009, Aker is scaling its pilot version at Karstø to capture just enough carbon (180 tons) to fill a ship container. Laughable, says Greenpeace, noting that Norway would be smarter to put as least as much research cash into solar as into CCS. Via ::Teknisk Ukeblad (Norwegian)

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