EFI reviews BECCS

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Greg Rau

Jan 11, 2022, 6:28:16 PMJan 11
to carbon Dioxide Removal


"This report is a systematic review of the literature to understand the key opportunities and challenges associated with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS),

a broad set of systems that integrate the use of energy derived from biomass with the capture and long-term storage of carbon. BECCS has received much attention due to its potential to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere; however, there are uncertainties regarding BECCS pathways that may have adverse economic, social, and environmental impacts. While BECCS can potentially decarbonize numerous sectors, including agriculture, forestry, electricity, waste, and industry, BECCS deployment in practice has been limited, and the actual emissions reduction potential of a given project depends on the project’s exact configuration, given the varying technical potential of BECCS projects in different geographic regions. Additionally, both the opportunities and challenges for rural and environmental justice communities are underexplored.

The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) conducted this review as the first phase of a study on the potential contributions of BECCS in achieving the U.S. goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. Building on the previous work on carbon dioxide removal and carbon capture, utilization, and storage, EFI has examined the role of BECCS as a domestic decarbonization option, as well as in the context of advancing other national policy objectives such as sustainable agricultural and forestry practices and rural economic development. This report defines BECCS and its component parts; discusses the current state of BECCS and associated industries in the United States; and identifies the opportunities and challenges for BECCS. The findings of this literature review will inform the second phase of the study, which involves a deeper dive analysis into the specific issues through commissioned white papers and an expert workshop. EFI will use the insights gleaned from the literature review, white papers, and workshop discussions to develop a comprehensive national strategy and policy roadmap for BECCS.

Given the complexity and breadth of the potential suite of BECCS applications, EFI reviewed a wide array of" sources including peer-reviewed studies, non-peer reviewed reports, news articles, web content, and legislative and executive documents. The search, screening, and review process was iterative as EFI gathered new knowledge throughout the research process. In total, over 300 sources were reviewed and included in this report. 

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