The Federal Government adopted the evaluation report on the Carbon Dioxide Storage Act today. The report describes the advances in technology, the latest scientific findings and the potential contribution from carbon capture and storage (CCS) to climate change mitigation.

The Act requires the Federal Government to present the evaluation report every four years. The new report covers both CCS and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). In contrast to CCS, in the case of CCU the CO2 is not stored, but used – e.g. in the chemical industry. Further to this, the report looks ahead to the carbon management strategy which the Federal Government intends to draw up in 2023.

Top priority in Germany’s efforts to attain climate neutrality are cuts in and avoidance of emissions, and increases in efficiency. Decarbonisation is crucial. The GHG neutrality studies from 2021 which were evaluated for the report also see a need to deploy CCS and CCU in order to meet the climate targets. It finds that the technology to capture, transport and store CO2 is already mature and tested. However, the legal framework in Germany currently stands in the way of deployment of these technologies, particularly regarding the grid-based transportation of CO2. For this reason, the evaluation report makes initial recommendations for corresponding changes to the legal framework so that CO2 can be transported and the necessary infrastructure built for this.

On the basis of the report, the Federal Government will draw up a Carbon Management Strategy in 2023. The evaluation report sets out ten central fields of action for this. In particular, the strategy is to flesh out the possible fields in which the technologies can be used. This is important, because the Federal Government attaches top priority to electrification, boosting energy efficiency, and shifting to green hydrogen. The stipulation of areas in which CCS and CCU can be applied must therefore always bear alternative climate action options in mind. It will also be up to the Carbon Management Strategy to answer the question of whether CO2 is to be stored in Germany.

In view of the high level of public interest and the significance of the matter, the drafting of the strategy will entail a broad stakeholder dialogue. An opening event with representatives of civil society, science and industry took place in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action on 18 and 19 October. The range of participants will probably be expanded further as the dialogue continues in the new year so that all the aspects of the technologies can be covered.

The evaluation report can be found (in German) here.