CLIMIT prioritises the development of ground-breaking technology
The distance to a commercial market for CCS technology has actually increased since the CLIMIT programme was established in 2005. The market situation has become more challenging following the cancellation of the Mongstad project, and other full-scale projects in Europe have also been put on hold.
"Key players who have made significant investments in CCS so far, have indicated that their future efforts may be reduced somewhat. Elevating projects from the R&D phase to pilots and demonstrations has become more complex. There is a rising expectation for State funding of projects in earlier development phases, and low self-financing. In certain instances, projects have been left unrealised due to the withdrawal of industrial players," says Head of Technology and Expertise, Hans Jörg Fell, in Gassnova, who also chairs the CLIMIT Secretariat.
Last year's CLIMIT disbursements increased in spite of this, and we have several interesting projects on the horizon. The CLIMIT programme allows us to support a number of good projects, but this does not necessarily mean that we alone can solve CCS on an international scale. CLIMIT is a strong policy instrument that is unmatched on the global stage. This means that Norway can exercise significant influence on the development of CCS technology. The international interest is a testament to the programme's attractiveness.
"It's important for CLIMIT to include industry in order to elevate the development to full commercialisation, or else we're just doing research for its own sake. The technology challenges linked to CCS are still primarily the development of cheaper, more efficient capture technology, as well as increasing our expertise as regards how CO2 flows and reacts in a CO2 store. We're looking for new projects and will soon have announcements for both the R&D and Demo parts," he says.
One of CLIMIT's strategic areas is new innovative solutions that can yield significant cost reductions and increased safety. This is particularly aimed at new, promising third-generation capture projects.
CLIMIT R&D will make a new announcement in March, aimed at new capture concepts that can enable new, ground-breaking projects. The applications will be evaluated based on new evaluation criteria in order to promote projects with a greater potential and more risk than what is found through normal announcements.
Help to mature new ideas
CLIMIT is attempting a new campaign through CLIMIT's new policy instrument, idea development support.
"This support allows the players to mature ideas to a complete project application, not least by identifying industrial partners, conducting patent searches and contacting international communities. There has been good response to last autumn's announcement," he says.
Five projects have received funding so far. CLIMIT has decided that this arrangement will continue in 2014 with a budget of NOK 5 million. Industries and research communities can apply for idea development support throughout the year.
"Our processing time has been expedited in order for the players to file new applications to CLIMIT and improve application quality," he says.
"We think it is very likely that this initiative will help promote projects that can take technology development several steps forward, and that the international community will look to Norway with interest and get involved with these new projects. We've seen a trend and hope it will continue," says Fell.
International collaboration more important than ever
CLIMIT has registered increased interest from international players to collaborate with Norwegian research communities.
A few examples of international collaboration with support from CLIMIT:
- US-based; RTI tests its technology at Norcem.
- Through the Research Council, CLIMIT is associating with the EU's major framework programmes Horizon 2020 and ERA-NET Cofund.
- The German COMPLETE project, which is co-financed by Germany and Norway. CLIMIT has supported SINTEF's participation in the project.