Mediation Committee Proposal for CCS Bill

After months of political stalemate, the Mediation Committee of the Bundestag (Parliament) and the Bundesrat (Federal Council) reached an agreement on a highly controversial bill on carbon capture and storage.

If the compromise is approved by Parliament and the Federal Council, Germany could finally fulfill its long overdue obligation to transpose Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. According to the Federal Council, the matter will presumably be debated in both houses this week.

The short press release of the Bundesrat summarises the main aspects of the agreement as follows:

The compromise on the controversial CCS technology provides for an annual storage of no more than 1.3 million tons of CO2 and a maximum storage capacity of 4 million tons of CO2 in Germany, thus reducing storage capacity compared to the bill as approved by Parliament in July 2011. Parliament had voted in favour of an annual storage capacity of 3 million tons of CO2 and a total storage capacity of 8 million tons of CO2. The Federal Council had rejected the bill in September 2011.

The agreement extends the post-closure obligations of the operator a storage site from a period of 10 years to a period of 40 years.

A much debated clause which gives the federal states the right to designate areas for CCS pilot projects as well as areas in which such projects are not allowed, has been refined. When deciding on the areas in which CCS test and demonstration projects can or cannot be carried out, the states have to consider the geological particularities of the area and balance them “with other aspects of public concern”. It remains to be seen what the exact wording of the provision will look like.

In a statement for the minutes, which is formally not a part of the recommendation by the Mediation Committee, the government highlights the European dimension of the CCS technology and pledges to support the federal states with regard to a research project concerning a CCS demonstration project to be named at a later stage. This shall help to expand Germany’s leading position in the field of CCS research, the government says. Due to the political impasse with regard to a German CCS law, Vattenfall AG had announced in December 2011 to cancel its EUR 1.5 billion EU sponsored CCS demonstration project in Jänschwalde and the exploration of possible storage facilities in Eastern Brandenburg.

The full text of the proposal is available here.


Source: Bundesrat

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