Carbon capture, a more promising technology than it seems

Without being a panacea, carbon capture and storage, a green technology on which Ottawa is betting big, could play a significant role in achieving Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The 2022 Federal Budget promises significant tax credits for investments in these Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technologies, with 60% going to CO2 capture research projects directly air.

Sometimes criticized as a counterproductive fantasy by environmental groups, the CUSC has become an essential tool for achieving the climate objectives of Canada and the world, believe three experts consulted by the QMI Agency.

The CUSC, even if it is “at the limit of what is experimental and what is commercial”, remains “absolutely necessary” for the green transition, explained Pierre-Olivier Pineau, expert in energy issues at HEC Montreal.

“The government is extremely optimistic about the ability to sequester carbon to reduce emissions,” Pineau said, adding that it would be a “mistake” to use this technology as a moral bond to increase production. fossil fuels.

Ottawa projects the tax credit will cost $2.6 billion over five years, before rising to about $1.5 billion in 2026-27.

Like Mr. Pineau, Jan Gorski, an expert at the Pembina Institute, believes that CCUS is an “important technology”, but that much more investment is needed in other sectors to really reduce Canada’s GHGs, such as public transit. , for example.

The director of the Canadian organization Clean Prosperity, Michael Bernstein, is more optimistic about the technology, which he believes could prove to be a vector of economic growth in the decades to come.

“We know the technology works, but it’s still in its infancy,” he explained. The government’s generous tax credits have the potential to help ambitious projects “take flight,” Bernstein said.

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