EU energy commissioner's Sleipner visit

June 25, 2007, 14:00 CEST

Carbon capture and storage is essential if the European Union (EU) is to achieve its climate goals, says Andris Piebalgs, its energy commissioner. Today, he is visiting the North Sea's Sleipner area where carbon management has been taking place for over 10 years.

"Sleipner is especially interesting as regards climate change," Mr Piebalgs says.

""The project demonstrates carbon capture well. The Sleipner organisation also has the most lengthy experience of carbon storage in the subsurface. This is very interesting for Europe."

 

Andris Piebalgs, European Union energy commissioner (left), Odd Roger Enoksen , Norway's minister of petroleum and energy (center), and Margareth Øvrum, Statoil's executive vice president for the Technology & Projects business area. (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik)

He believes carbon management is vital to solving climate challenges.

"Climate change cannot be combated without carbon capture and storage," he says.

"By 2020, 20% of Europe's energy needs will be met from renewable sources. Fossil fuels will nonetheless dominate European energy needs. Therefore we need to develop technology for carbon capture and storage that can meet climate challenges after 2020."

Odd Roger Enoksen, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy and Margareth Øvrum, Statoil's executive vice president for the Technology & Projects business area, are joining Mr Piebalgs out to Sleipner.

"The collaboration between the authorities and the private sector is essential for developing carbon management technology," says Ms Øvrum.

"The energy sector must also be willing to be pioneers and share experiences and technology to bring carbon management a step further."
European pilot facilities will drive carbon capture and storage technology forward, with 12 of these in place by 2015. Statoil has ambitions for the European CO2 Test Centre Mongstad (TCM) being one of the pilots, with the Norwegian state teaming up with the energy sector to develop carbon management technology.

"TCM is a good model for risk-sharing of technology development," says Mr Piebalgs.

"European governments should play a role in solving carbon capture and storage challenges."