Keywords: actor constellation, carbon capture, carbon storage, CCS, electricity generation, lignite, network analysis, Germany, climate change, coal power stations, greenhouse emissions, politics, economics, emerging technologies, environmental technology, uncertainty, sustainable energy, sustainability, renewable energy
Carbon capture and storage: settling the German coal vs. climate change dispute?
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an innovation that promises to enable the low Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions coal power station. However, the technology is still under development and issues such as economic viability, environmental safety, public acceptance and system integration remain unresolved at present. We analyse the viewpoints and strategies of major political and economic actors towards CCS and the future of coal in the German electricity system. We portray the actor constellation and try to determine the potential changes caused by CCS. We argue that, since CCS is still an emerging technology, viewpoints and strategies are characterised by many uncertainties at the moment. Actors are still trying to learn about CCS and are still forming their opinions. This opens up space for dialogue and moderates confrontation. A possible policy option that may result is the use of coal with CCS as a bridging technology towards a sustainable or even fully renewable energy future.