Storage as an alternative to continued use
In contrast to reusing CO2 (Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)), in the case of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), carbon leaves the cycle and is stored over the long-term. Several projects have been created at an international level. Their goal is to provide the service of long-term geological carbon storage.
CO2 from agriculture and air travel can also be stored
It is possible to prevent CO2 emissions originating from unavoidable carbon sources from entering the atmosphere by means of storage. Diffuse CO2 emissions from agriculture and air travel can either be captured in bioenergy applications (Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)) or taken directly from the ambient air (Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage DACCS) and can thus be mitigated.
Carbon sinks in the North Sea are particularly practical for NRW
The largest potential for storing NRW’s CO2 emissions is reckoned to be in the North Sea, under the upper geological layers of the seabed. CO2 can be stored there over the long-term in deep-set saline rock layers, in sandstone or in the depleted reservoirs left over from crude oil and natural gas. Initially, only disused natural gas fields at a depth of more than 2.5 kilometres below the seabed could potentially be used as storage facilities for CO2. These storage facilities are particularly interesting since the North Sea is so close for Germany and especially for NRW. There are also potential areas for storing CO2 off the coasts of the Netherlands, Norway and the UK. Capacity is currently estimated at 61 to 73 gigatonnes of CO2.