CCS-Technologies – Technical Requirements and Legal Framework Conditions in Austria

Working out a decision basis that contains technical as well as legal bases and which can be applied to implement processes for CCS-Technologies in Austria.

A reference scenario set up by the International Energy Agency shows an increase of the worldwide primary energy consumption of 45% during the period from 2006 to 2050, whereby the larger part will be covered by fossil energy carriers.

Parallel to the development of primary energy consumption, an increase of greenhouse gas emissions is apparent.  

The EC climate package, however, requires reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by 16% in 2020. Austria has been given the objective to meet this target between 2005 and 2020.  

In the struggle to achieve the targets set by the EC climate package, the governments are looking for technological solutions to reduce the CO2 output. A promising technology is the capture and storage of CO2, the so-called CCS-technology – Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Technology.

CO2 capture and storage is a procedure whereby the greenhouse gas is separated and condensed from the gas mixture, which is produced by burning fossil energy carriers in power plants, prior to being stored in geological formations or below the ocean floor.  

In April 2009, the European Parliament published the Guideline 2009/31/EC on the geological storing of carbon dioxide. This had to be transferred to national law by 25th June 2011.  

In order to establish CO2 storage facilities in Austria with a lowest possible risk, the Austrian Energy Agency was commissioned to summarise the present situation from the technical and legal point of view in Austria.  
The results were combined with the guideline 2009/31/EC to deduce recommendations for implementing the guideline. The objective is to work out a decision basis, which contains technical as well as legal bases that can be applied to the implementation process of CCS-technologies in Austria.

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