July 24th, 2024

Carbon capture key to net-zero electricity, but federal timelines too tight: Report

By The Canadian Press on October 19, 2023.

The SaskPower carbon capture and storage facility is pictured at the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Sask. on October 2, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

CALGARY – Carbon capture and storage is key to greening Canada’s electricity grid, but meeting the proposed time frame laid out by the federal government will be extremely difficult based on the current state of the technology, a new report says.

Ottawa has proposed clean electricity regulations aimed at getting Canada’s electricity grid to net-zero by 2035.

This will likely require large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage technology at natural gas and coal-fired power plants in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, due to a lack of availability of hydroelectric power in those provinces.

In a new report, the Regina-based International CCUS Knowledge Centre says in order to be compliant with the federal regulations, natural gas-fired power plants would need to achieve a nearly 95 per cent CO2 capture rate.

But the organization points out that no carbon capture facility in the world is currently achieving that level of performance.

The only large-scale carbon capture facility in Canada currently operating on a power plant is at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam and it has a CO2 capture rate of 65 to 70 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2023.

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