How effective is the CCS Directive?

This report presents the consultant’s work in supporting the Commission in their review of the CCS Directive. The work under this contract consisted of two main parts. The first part was to effectively carry out an interim evaluation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Directive), including consideration of the Directive under the new Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT). The second part of the work was more forward-looking and focused on preparing a set of recommendations for the future of the CCS Directive, and wider CCS enabling policy for the Commission to consider. This report contains the results of the work on both parts of the contract. The work was designed to contribute to the European Commission Review of the CCS Directive, as required by Article 38 of the Directive.

The evaluation answered questions defined in the Terms of Reference and was structured according to the standard EC evaluation headings (effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, coherence, EU added value, utility and sustainability). These questions were answered via a combination of literature review and stakeholder input. Stakeholder input was collected by an online survey, interviews, written submissions, two stakeholder meetings and focus groups. Although there was a good response from industry, academia and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), the response from Member States has not been very strong, despite invitations from the consultants and DG CLIMA to participate.

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Cost of CO2 avoided in US$ per tonne

The following are the headline conclusions of the evaluation:

  • The overall need for CCS (addressing climate change by decarbonising power supply) remains high. The Directive has a useful and important part to play in this.
  • Progress in the uptake of CCS has been slower than predicted, but this is largely due to the global economic downturn and the Directive has had little influence on this.
  • The lack of practical experience of the vast majority of the practical Articles of the Directive make detailed evaluation very difficult.
  • There are some concerns with specific aspects of the CCS Directive but there is not yet enough experience with it to justify high level changes.
  • Revising the Directive at this stage will create increased regulatory risk and thus cause additional delays – in a technology where investor confidence is still not well-developed.
  • A revision of the Directive should only occur after more experience is gained with CCS in Europe.