CCS Bill in Federal Cabinet in January?

According to energate, the renewed bill transposing Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) into German law shall be submitted to the Federal Cabinet this January. Germany has to implement the Directive by 25 June 2011.

Energate, an energy information provider from Essen, referred to a spokesperson of Vattenfall Europe AG. In view of the many postponements of the bill, it was, however, possible that the bill will be taken off the agenda again, the Vattenfall representative said. A spokesperson of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) declined to comment due to the ongoing inter-ministerial coordination process, energate pointed out.

In Germany, a small pilot program for CCS exists in Ketzin in the federal state of Brandenburg. It is coordinated by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. The major utilities, mainly Vattenfall AG, urge the government to enact a CCS law, energate points out. Vattenfall operates a oxyfuel pilot plant located near its existing lignite fired power plant in Schwarze Pumpe. E.ON and Siemens also launched a pilot plant that tests postcombustion carbon capture at E.ON’s hard coal-fired power plant near Hanau in September 2009. In 2015 Vattenfall wants to start operating a power plant in Jänschwalde (Brandenburg), where CCS technology is implemented for the first time on a power plant scale.

A first draft Kohlendioxid-Speicherungsgesetz (Carbon Dioxide Storage Act – KSpG) was introduced to the Bundestag during the sixteenth legislative period of the German Parliament (2005-2009), but was not enacted into law. It therefore lapsed at the end of the legislative session. Agreement on a new law has not yet been found as the two federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower-Saxony (lead by coalitions including the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)) want to have an opt-out-clause included in the bill. The ruling government coalition formed by the CDU and the FDP on the other hand does not want to set a precedent. BMU and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) have therefore been asked to draft a bill which the two states can approve without being obliged to implement the CCS technology, energate says.

For more information on the CCS Directive and the current legal regime in Germany please see here.

Source: energate, 10 January 2010

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