Increase primary energy demand.
Likely to increase total fossil fuel consumption.
Limited deployment potential in current Swiss energy system due to very small fossil based electricity generation capacity.
Could decrease energy independence by requiring more fossil imports.
Can be retrofitted to existing power plants although this may significantly increase the cost.
Likely to reduce global CO2 emissions.
May also reduce other emissions from fossil power plants.
Likely to increase the cost of the energy transition.
May worsen balance of payments by increasing fossil imports.
Could increase Confederation income from the tax on mineral oil under the current taxation system.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to processes by which the CO2 in the flue gases of power plants (or industrial processes) are captured and then stored. The capture can take place either post-combustion using solvents such as amines or pre-combustion such as in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants.
Carbon capture processes are already used commercially in other industrial processes but the application to the capture of CO2 from power plants is still largely at the demonstration phase.
The captured CO2 can be stored in underground storage locations, such as depleted oil or gas fields, or in saline aquifers, and must typically be compressed to high pressure to be pumped into these storage locations.
• The main drawback of CCS technology is that the capture and compression processes involved are quite energy intensive and would reduce the net output of a coal (resp. natural gas) power plant by about 24-40% (resp. 11-22%), severely impacting on its economic viability . CCS may thus only be economically justified in the context of high emitted CO2 taxes.
• Capture technology must still be scaled-up to full commercial scale.
• There is public concern—which may or may not be justified—regarding the injection of CO2 into storage locations near inhabited areas.
• Long term stability of CO2 storage sites must still be demonstrated.