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New EU Project To Slash Greenhouse Gases

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by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Mar 15, 2006
A huge pilot project to capture greenhouse gases and store them underground is being launched this week, aiming to slash Europe's output of harmful CO2 by 10 percent, officials said Tuesday.

The world's biggest such project, inaugurated Wednesday at Esbjerg on Denmark's western coast, will bid to capture 90 percent of carbon dioxide produced by fossil-fueled power stations like coal plants or oil refineries.

"By developing technologies for carbon capture and storage, we can reduce emissions in the medium-term as we move to large scale use of renewable, carbon-free energy sources," said EU science commissioner Janez Potocnik.

The CASTOR project works by capturing CO2 emissions as they are produced by power stations and then storing them underground, to prevent them interacting with the atmosphere and producing the greenhouse effect.

In particular the EU, which has given 8.5 million euros for the project, hopes to make the process more attractive by cutting the cost, from about 60 euros per tonne currently to 20 euros per tonne in the future.

"It is hoped that this ... project will allow scientists to improve the technological processes involved in carbon capture, provide a means for better understanding of the process among the public and consolidate Europes position as a leader in this scientific field," said the EU commission.

Commission spokeswoman Antonia Mochan noted that the Danish project launch comes only two days after new US figures showing a big increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Research into alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power, has surged of late partly due to soaring world oil prices, but also due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Projects like CASTOR "could be a medium term solution to the current dichotomy of our dependence on fossil fuel technology and the fact that alternative sources of energy aren't yet ready to satisfy the global demand for energy," said Mochan.

The EU executive said it also wanted to work with other countries on such new projects, as shown by a recent agreement with China on near-zero emission power plant technology.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
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WMO Sees Rise In Greenhouse Gases To Record Levels
Geneva (AFP) Mar 15, 2006
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached record levels in 2004, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva said Tuesday.







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