More than 90% of South Africa’s energy consumption is derived from fossil fuels – resulting in the release of more than 400-million tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) a year, still one of the highest per capita CO₂ emissions globally.
Therefore, some believe carbon capture and storage (CCS) are highly relevant technology for South Africa and that a successful deployment would enable the country to continue to exploit its abundant coal resources while meeting its climate commitments.
The critics, however, have slammed South Africa’s decision to continue with CCS research, arguing that it represents a false solution, which undermines the necessary transition to an energy system dominated by renewable energy resources. Nevertheless, the work is continuing, with CCS research being carried out in four phases.
The South African Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (SACCCS) head, Dr Tony Surridge, said the assessment completed in 2004 showed theoretically that South Africa had capturable emissions and potential storage sites. He added that CCS technology aimed to bridge the big gap between South Africa’s cleaner energy programmes, replacing its existing fossil-fuelled energy infrastructure, which had a decades-long life expectancy.
Source: Engineering News