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Responsible carbon storage

The Netherlands is making ever larger strides towards a carbon-neutral future. We are switching to energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources. We are taking measures to use less energy and to reuse more materials. Only, we are failing to make deep enough cuts in emissions and we are not doing this fast enough. Storage of CO2 deep under the seabed is an essential and efficient further step towards limiting the impact of the remaining use of fossil energy on the climate during the transition.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is essential, because time is running out. In 2030, carbon emissions need to be 60% lower than they were in 1990. This means cutting emissions by 74 megatonnes in just seven years, while emissions fell by ‘only’ 63 megatonnes over the past 20 years. Reaching this target will be a herculean task, especially given that large industrial companies, which use a lot of energy for their processes, will not be able to fully switch to sustainable zero-carbon production methods before 2030, if only because those methods will not be available soon enough on a large scale. Storing CO2 gives these companies a better chance to become more sustainable – and helps the Netherlands achieve its climate targets.

Carbon storage is efficient because many energy-intensive industrial companies are clustered close to the coast. Carbon capture technology is relatively simple and the infrastructure for transport and storage under the North Sea is within easy reach. We can reuse depleted gas fields for storage; as for the infrastructure, we can give a second life to platforms and wells that otherwise no longer have a practical use. It’s also efficient: the Netherlands is well positioned for the transport of CO2 by ship.

Not only is CCS a logical step, but EBN is the natural partner – given our involvement in the Porthos and Aramis projects. Alongside our role as advisor to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, we have a public duty to implement Dutch climate and energy policy. Our contribution to Porthos, Aramis and various other storage projects fall within the scope of that function, as this is how we contribute to the Dutch energy transition and to the reduction of potentially more than 7.5 megatonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Furthermore, both projects are complex affairs involving both government and industry, exactly the kind of projects we specialise in. Collaboration with the public and private sector has been a common thread in our operations throughout our 50 years of existence.

And if there’s one thing those 50 years have taught us, it’s that knowledge-sharing is essential, that it’s fundamental to developing new technologies and new markets. It’s with that understanding that we develop, collect and pool our knowledge for all parties involved in CCS.

Together with others, we are accelerating towards our goal: a 60% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 and fully carbon-neutral by 2050.