Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology that can support the objectives of the Energy Strategy 2050 in various ways. For electricity generation it can be applied to gas-fired power stations. Some scenarios predict that 10 to 20 TWh per year of electricity would be needed in 2050 after the nuclear phaseout. This would lead to yearly CO2 emissions of 4 to 8 Mt, which could be avoided by CCS. Alternatively, CCS could be applied to Steam-Methane-Reforming, delivering clean hydrogen to the mobility or heating sector, or even to Direct-Air-Capture leading effectively to negative CO2 emissions.

Previous work has estimated a theoretical storage potential of 2.5 Gt CO2 in the deep saline aquifers beneath the Central Plateau. These aquifers must now be evaluated with respect to practically achievable storage capacities, as well as to viable rates of CO2 injection, magnitude and predicability of induced seismicity, cap-rock integrity and longevity of trapping.

All these aspects will be studied within the EU/SFOE funded project ELEGANCY. This will involve experimental work at the Mont Terri rock laboratory, and scenario modelling to assess the value of CCS for the Swiss energy transition.