National Centre for CCS
The Swedish Energy Agency has been tasked with being the National Centre for CCS in Sweden. This entails planning, coordination and promotion of CCS throughout the country. The Swedish Energy Agency will carry out its work in dialogue with industries, governmental authorities and the Government Offices of Sweden.
Being the National Centre for CCS, the Swedish Energy Agency will:
- monitor the technical, economic and political developments in the field of CCS, both nationally and internationally.
- identify, analyse and, if necessary, investigate and deliver proposals for actions to overcome any technical, economic, and legal obstacles to the facilitation of CCS-technology.
- investigate issues related to accounting and reporting of carbon dioxide emissions in relation to, among others, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the national climate goals and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), as well as how the entire CCS chain can be made as climate and energy efficient as possible.
Bilateral storage agreements
Being the National Centre, the Swedish Energy Agency is to enable the export of carbon dioxide from Swedish emission sites to permanent storage sites in other countries, for example Norway.
The main obstacle to exporting carbon dioxide is that a contracting party to the London Protocol (e.g. Sweden) is not permitted to export carbon dioxide, waste or other matter to another contracting party (e.g. Norway) with the intention of dumping or incinerating it at sea. However, there are exceptions to this export ban. If the contracting parties take actions to ensure that transportation and storage are conducted safely and responsibly, the ban can be exempted. The Swedish Energy Agency has drafted a proposal for a bilateral storage agreement with Norway, which meets the requirements of the London Protocol.
The Swedish Energy Agency has also been tasked with proposing similar bilateral storage agreements with other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Sale of negative emissions generated by state aid for BECCS
The Swedish Energy Agency proposes that those who receive governmental support for their BECCS project through the reverse auction should be able to sell negative emissions on a voluntary market. As for all state aid, if additional private financing is obtained after the aid has been granted, the aid will be reduced by the sale price.
The Swedish Energy Agency also proposes that it is stipulated in the regulation on governmental support for the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide of biogenic origin, that when negative emissions are sold, it must be stated that the buyer through the purchase contributes to Sweden achieving its national climate goals and conditions according to the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Export of captured CO2 from Sweden for permanent storage under the seabed in other countries
The Swedish Energy Agency has investigated how the national ban on dumping and export of waste in the Environmental Code (15 kap. 27 § MB) effects CO2 that is captured in Sweden and then transported to be permanently stored in geological formations under the seabed in other countries.
The conclusion is that a deepened investigation regarding the need for an exception (15 kap. 28 § MB) or a dispensation (15 kap. 29 § MB) from the ban can wait until further notice.
The reason for this is that the potential sea-based storage sites in the vicinity of Sweden that are currently being built or are planned on being built in the near future are located without proximity to "the high seas".
The Convention on Biological Diversity and the Moratorium on Climate-related Geo-engineering
The Swedish Energy Agency has investigated whether BECCS is covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its moratorium on climate-related geo-engineering.
The Swedish Energy Agency assess that BECCS is covered by the moratorium when it is used on a large scale and is deemed to be able to affect biological diversity. It is also the Swedish Energy Agency’s assessment that BECCS in Sweden is likely to have a neutral to minor impact on biological diversity at present, but the agency will still take precautions when implementing a governmental support scheme for BECCS.
Among other things, the Swedish Energy Agency will require that the facility where BECCS is to be implemented with state aid holds a sustainability certificate for the use of its biofuels where applicable.