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Let's look at the facts. In 2006, Alberta's large industrial emitters reported a total of 115.7 megatonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gas emissions. Half of that (56.2 Mt) came from electricity generators and petroleum refineries (including upgraders). The way the economy is going downhill, taking oil prices with it, the prospect of new oil sands development outpacing these sources is remote indeed.
CCS is a viable option for power plants and refineries. It therefore makes a whole lot of sense to start with them. And that's essentially what the 'Key Messages for Ministers' emphasized (that, plus the fact that the private sector doesn't want to pay for CCS out of its own pocket). In the meantime, experience with real-time CCS projects will provide valuable lessons for future applications in the oil sands.
If there's a story here, it's that the briefing note (issued in January 2008) is out of date. It says "CCS has not been deployed in a fully integrated, commercial-scale fashion to date." That fact is no longer true. Vattenfall, a Swedish power company, has already done it. It's high time Alberta did it too.
Posted On Nov 25 07:46PM
MDLO, the breakout of the numbers for 2006 was as follows: electricity generation - 51.7 Mt; refineries - 4.5 Mt.
As to who should pay, that's a legitimate debate in and of itself. The way Alberta's $2 billion CCS program works, each project will be cost-shared between the province and the project developer. As yet it is unclear what proportion each will pay.
Posted On Nov 25 09:05AM
Not to sound overly sceptical here, but why are the numbers for oil refineries and electricity generators lumped together? Is one shielding the other? I'm not clear on the logic here. What are the emissions for each, separately?
Also, I'm more sceptical about why the tax payer (governments) should pay for CCS. Of course the private sector doesn't want to pay for CCS out of its own pocket -- but sometimes cleaning up your own mess is the cost of doing business.
Even with oil as low as it is (and maybe we haven't hit bottom yet), it has in the past, and will in the future, generate intense profits for companies, so I don't know if tax payers need to keep subsidizing them to the extent we have been.
I'm not saying some govt. tax incentives shouldn't be put in place, but we shouldn't have to carry the full burden, that's for sure.