The European Commission sees CCUS as a strategic technology, among other mitigation technology options (European Commission, 2023a). To align with the Paris Agreement, Europe will need Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to achieve a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030. However, the role Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) will play in industrial decarbonisation by 2030 deservers further policy attention (ZEP, 2020).

Adopting particular technological approaches to decarbonise the industry comes hand in hand with specific challenges. CCUS, in particular, comes with uncertainties related to high upfront investments, the absence of revenue models, technological lock-in, the risk of carbon leakage, the liability of CO2 captured, risks associated with failing to achieve emissions reduction targets, and the availability of effective policy instruments to support its adoption (see discussions in Janipour et al (forthcoming) and Nilsson et al (2021)). When aiming to adopt innovative climate technology, its supporting policy instruments might not be intentionally designed to support industrial decarbonisation. Specific ‘decarbonisation policy’ instruments might not be in place yet, either.

To this end, policy becomes the entry point of this research, which aims to shed light on the availability of policy instruments and their characteristics that incentivise industrial decarbonisation by means of CCUS. Therefore, it investigates the readiness of policies supporting the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries. Aligned with the Work Package 5 objectives of the C4U Project, the resultant report aims to identify and analyse existing public policy options to address the needs and concerns of stakeholders in line with an engaging narrative for CCUS. The report contributes to the C4U Project with a comparative analysis of industrial CCUS policy instrumentation in five selected countries: Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK.

This will provide answers to the following key research question: How ready is the European industrial CCUS policy instrumentation to decarbonise the EII? In particular, two questions are worth addressing within this scope:

  • What European policies help address the industrial decarbonisation targets towards 2030?
  • How equipped are policy instruments to support the decarbonisation of EII in Europe?