Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology chain that forms a third pillar, along with renewable energy and energy efficiency, to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. It works by removing CO2 from the pre- or post-combustion exhaust gas of power stations and other industrial processes and injecting the CO2 into underground geological reservoirs of porous rock for permanent storage. While not eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, it provides a bridging solution to mitigate the problem while renewable energy sources are developed to large-scale implementation.
from Zero Emissions Platform
GSI has participated in several CO2 storage projects in recent years:
SEAI Report, 2008: “Assessment of the Potential for Geological Storage of CO2 for the Island of Ireland” and the geological annex “Basin-by-basin analysis of CO2 storage potential of all-island Ireland” by Bentham, Kirk and Williams, British Geological Survey. This report, which took a generally positive view of the possible application of CCS in the Irish context, provided three main recommendations for further investigations of storage potential:
- develop the storage potential of the depleted Kinsale head gas field for emissions from Moneypoint and Cork Harbour
- investigate the storage potential of the Clare Basin adjacent to Moneypoint
- establish an ‘Irish Sea task force’ to assess storage potential in basins in the Irish Sea area
EPA study, 2010: Following the recommendation of the all-Island study, “An Assessment of the Potential for Geological Storage of CO2 in the Vicinity of Moneypoint, Co. Clare”, Farrelly et al. (2010) assessed the potential for geological storage of CO2 in hypothetical deep saline aquifers in the vicinity of Moneypoint, Co. Clare, through interpretation of existing and newly acquired data. The study concluded that the onshore portion of the Clare Basin in unsuitable for CO2 storage in saline aquifers.
Irish Sea study, 2014: GSI engaged in a joint project with the British Geological Survey (2012-2014), re-assessing shared saline aquifer basins in the Irish Sea. Extant seismic and well data were reassessed for the Central Irish Sea Basin and the northeastern part of the North Celtic Sea Basin. The study found that while well data are generally favourable, the basins studied are structurally complex, with a lot of faulting that compartmentalises potential reservoir units and there is no obvious large storage site identified yet. There is scope to extend this study to other basins that might be more favourable, particularly in the south Celtic Sea.
Irish Sea Carbon Capture and Storage project, final report - download
Appendix 2: An assessment of the potential for subsurface CO2 storage in two regions of the Central Irish Sea Basin - download
Appendix 3: An assessment of the potential for subsurface CO2 storage in the Celtic Sea Basin - download
Appendix 4: Transport and Consolidation Properties of the Mercia Mudstone - download
GSI was a member of the FP7 CGS Europe consortium and co-authored the Key Report on CO2 storage site selection.