Carbon capture and sequestration: integrating technology, monitoring and regulation

Carbon capture and sequestration: integrating technology, monitoring and regulation  

Elizabeth Wilson and David Gerard (eds) 

Oxford, UK:Blackwell Publishing | 2007 | 296pp | ?99.50 (HB) | ISBN 9780813802077 

Reviewed by Stuart Haszeldine

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), known as carbon sequestration in North America, enables capture of CO2 from large point sources (electricity plants, cement or chemical works), pipeline transportation, and deep geological injection. CCS helps industrialised civilizations to minimise environmental damage from fossil fuel emissions. 

This book addresses all of the current obstacles. It is one of only a handful of texts to cover the CCS range of activity - companions include the IPCC (2005) and Shackley and Gough (2006). The strengths of the present volume are its US focus, its expertise in regulation, and its cradle-to-grave approach. The editors are well-qualified, having established cross-discipline approaches to governance issues in other environmental technologies. The 11 chapters, from hand-picked authors, provide an authoritative snapshot along the CCS technology chain from capture technologies, through storage siting and risk, to US property interests and regulation, and US public perception. As a rapid reference for distillation of the abundant published and grey literature, this is first class. Some 60 per cent of the book has worldwide generic relevance on capture and storage and is well illustrated; the second 40 per cent focuses on technology and policy, is more discursive, and is focused on the US experience. Because Australia, the UK, and Norway appear to be leading the CCS demonstration race at present I feel that those nations could have merited more attention. Nevertheless, there are many commonalities which make international cross-comparisons instructive. 

Readership will include carbon managers and emissions traders, CCS practitioners, climate change researchers and students, and regulators of sustainable energies. CCS has the potential to be a new, and truly global, business. It is the interactions of new technologies with regulation and perception, as described in this readable book, which will determine if CCS realises its potential as part of a low carbon future world.