Researchers from across the Nordics will gather in Copenhagen to present how the Nordic countries can become the first region in the world to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
The Nordic region is at an advantage when it comes to emissions reductions. The number of electric vehicles per capita in Norway is higher than anywhere in the world; Denmark gets around 40% of it’s electricity from wind; Finland and Sweden’s vast forests provide an abundant resource for biofuels; and the Nordic region’s inter-connected electricity network offers opportunities sharing clean energy across borders.
But it is not enough to merely reduce emissions, we must actively take carbon out of the atmosphere, says Anders Lyngfelt, leader of the Negative-CO2 project, funded by Nordic Energy Research.
“If we are to meet the climate target of the Paris agreement, carbon dioxide emissions cannot exceed the so-called ‘climate budget.’ With today’s emissions, this budget will be spent in 20 years if we are to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. It will be spent in just 5 years if we are to limit that increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
The Negative-CO2 project has developed a process where the CO2 from burning biomass (for example trees) can be efficiently “rinsed” out and securely stored underground, producing zero CO2 emissions. This means that as more trees are planted to replenish those used as fuel, more CO2 will be absorbed from the atmosphere, ultimately resulting in net negative emissions. The process, called Biogenic Carbon Capture and Storage (Bio-CCS), is the best of both worlds; it generates renewable energy, while also removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Professor Lyngfelt, explains the massive potential of Negative CO2 technology being developed at his lab at Chalmers University:
“In Sweden, about 30 Megatons per year of carbon dioxide is emitted from the use of biomass, and a high fraction can be captured to create negative emissions. This is comparable to Sweden’s domestic fossil carbon dioxide emissions of just over 40 Mton per year. In other words, Bio-CCS could allow Sweden to nearly half its total CO2 emissions.”
On the 24th of May, During Nordic Clean Energy Week 2018, the side event Sustainable Future Energy Systems: Smarter, Integrated & CO2-Negative will bring together experts from the cutting edge of sustainable energy research to discuss their vision for Nordic energy systems. These experts specialise in different fields, ranging from transport, to electricity grids, to carbon capture, and will present solutions for creating smarter, integrated and CO2-negative energy systems. Using these solutions together will give us the best chance of reaching our climate and energy goals, and re-affirm the Nordics as world-leaders in the fight against climate change.
Other topics that will be discussed at the event include:
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