Carbon capture, utilization and storage strategy
Recognizing that carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) can play an essential role in the transition to a prosperous net-zero economy, we are leading the development of a federal CCUS Strategy that will enable the Canadian CCUS industry to realize its GHG reduction and commercial potential.
What is carbon capture, utilization, and storage?
CCUS is a suite of technologies that capture CO2 from facilities, including industrial or power applications, or directly from the atmosphere. Once the CO2 is captured, it is then compressed and transported to be permanently stored in geological formations underground (e.g. saline aquifers, oil reservoirs), or used to create products such as concrete and low-carbon synthetic fuels. CCUS technologies can deliver ‘negative emissions’ by removing CO2 from the air (direct-air-capture) or from biomass-based energy and storing the CO2.
This graphic shows the Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) value chain as a network of interconnected facilities set in a flat landscape, surrounded by forest. A cross-section reveals deep geologic layers beneath the soil. The carbon capture process is illustrated at different sites. Carbon dioxide (CO2) already present in the atmosphere is captured from a direct air capture facility and naturally removed from the air by biomass represented by the forest. CO2 is also captured from point sources: at a hydrogen production facility, power stations that use biomass or fossil fuels, heavy industry facilities (e.g. cement, iron & steel, chemicals), and a natural gas processing plant. Arrows indicate that the captured CO2 from each of these facilities is being transported via pipelines, ships or trucks to either a CO2 injection site where the CO2 is injected underground and permanently stored in geologic formations (e.g. saline aquifers or oil reservoirs) or to an industrial facility where the CO2 is used, in processes such as the creation of CO2-based products (e.g. fuels, chemicals, building materials).
Building Canada’s strategy for carbon capture, utilization and storage
Canada is well positioned to advance our global CCUS leadership. We will be collaborating with key stakeholders and partners to build a strategy with a vision and set of areas for action to help the CCUS industry realize its full potential.
Our team wants to hear from interested Canadians as we develop the strategy. CCUS will be a key player in Canada’s economic and environmental future as we strive to meet our net-zero by 2050 objective.
Why is this essential?
CCUS is one of the four key technology areas critical to achieving global climate and energy goals and urgent steps are needed to significantly ramp up CCUS deployment. The International Energy Agency has made clear that these net-zero goals will become virtually impossible to meet without CCUS. Their Net-Zero to 2050 Roadmap indicates that driving down emissions to net-zero would require 7.6Gt of CO2 to be captured globally – which is 190 times more than today.
CCUS is a significant opportunity for Canada, both in terms of economic opportunities and climate change action. Growing our CCUS industry will:
- contribute to clean and inclusive economic growth
- expand international market and trade opportunities
- address the emissions from the toughest-to-abate but crucial sectors of Canada’s economy
- enable other pathways essential to decarbonisation (e.g. electrification, hydrogen)
- deliver carbon dioxide removal via CCUS negative emissions technologies
CCUS is critical to six key pathways to a prosperous net-zero economy in Canada
Learn more about the ongoing CCUS research at NRCan’s labs.
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