7. Title: Mlex Headline: CCS funding at risk as EU states drag feet over CO2 storage law Date: 19/06/2011 Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands have also applied for funding for CCS demonstration projects but are yet to implement the law, which was supposed to be passed into national statute books by 24 June. The commission has said they are still receiving notifications from member states of implementation of the CCS directive, which will be checked for completeness. The Commission will issue letters of formal notice to states that have submitted no or only partial transposition notification as part of due process. Over half of the countries who have applied for EU funding for carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects have missed the deadline to implement a law ensuring the safe and legal application of the technology. The European Commission confirmed today that 12 out of the 27 European states have made law, or ‘transposed’, an EU directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. While the commission declined to say that projects in the running for the NER 300 would be discounted without transposition of the law, an official pointed out that without the law, permits cannot be granted and without the permits a project cannot go ahead. The directive, adopted in April 2009, was created to remove any legal obstacles which stood in the way of developing CCS. It is not possible for companies to receive authorisation permits for projects without the law in place. The countries which have transposed the law are Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Romania, Finland and the United Kingdom.
Germany has had political difficulties implementing the law due to growing opposition to CCS technology, with health and safety fears. Discussions are ongoing in its parliament but the law is unlikely to be implemented before September. Berlin has recently changed its energy policy to move away from nuclear power by 2022 due to the nuclear disaster in Japan. While the country has said it will plough more investment into renewable energy technologies, there is likely to be an increase in coal-produced energy in the absence of nuclear power. This would mean an increase in CO2 emissions without the use of CCS. Poland’s power relies heavily on coal, which means CCS is set to play a large part in its legally-binding CO2 emissions reduction targets. Procedures to get a CCS demonstration project off the ground, such as for authorisation permits and gathering finances, are lengthy. Delays could make the EU’s target of having up to 12 demonstration projects up and running by 2015 tight, as these processes cannot start without first the CCS law being transposed. The commission will decide June 2012 which projects will receive funding under the NER 300.
Of these states, the UK, France and Romania have submitted projects into a competition run by the European Commission to gain funding under the so-called NER 300. This money comes from the New Entrants Reserve of the EU Emissions Trading System in the form of 300 million allowances which will be sold. At today’s carbon price, they are estimated to be worth 4.5 billion euros.