In control of CLIMIT

Nine representatives from industry and academia are responsible for determining what direction research, development and demonstration of CCS technology (carbon capture and storage) will take in Norway. And three new board members just joined the group.
CLIMIT Program Board.

Hans Roar Sørheim – chair, Olav Kårstad (Statoil), Per Reidar Ørke (PROfolio). Anita Utseth (Det norske oljeselskap), Eva Halland (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate), Per Aagaard (University of Oslo), Mette Vågnes Eriksen (DNV GL), Cato Christiansen (Shell Technology Norway) and Karen Lyng Anthonsen (GEUS). The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is also observing through Ingar Steinsvik.

The nine members meet five times a year to lay down and follow-up the strategy, and to approve which projects will receive support from the CLIMIT programme. With an annual budget of nearly MNOK 200, the board exerts significant influence on the development of CCS technology.

The strategy document and programme plan outline how CLIMIT shall prioritise research, development and demonstration of CCS technology. Their most important instrument is awarding funds to the best projects.

"The important guidelines in our strategy documents and the programme plan form the foundation for our work. In order for these to be efficient management tools, they must continuously comprise important development trends. We are currently in a process where we are looking at whether, and potentially how, development in the surroundings and in the political framework creates a need for updates and changes to the strategy and programme," says chair Hans Roar Sørheim. The CLIMIT programme board was appointed by the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The CLIMIT secretariat, which is shared between Gassnova and the Research Council of Norway, ensures announcements and fair evaluation of all project support applications. It prepares recommendations to the board regarding which projects should be supported, but the board makes the final decision on which projects to support and how much support they are granted. This can lead to discussions in the board, for example to clarify whether an application is in line with the strategy.

Three new board members

Mette Vågnes Eriksen: Need to make CCS commonplace

Mette Vågnes Eriksen heads DNV GL's activities within CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage). She has previously worked on solar energy, wind, gas and hydropower on both the consulting and industry sides. As an economist with experience from Corporate Governance and CSR, she hopes to also be able to contribute to the non-technological aspects of the CLIMIT board.

"CLIMIT is one of the world's largest programmes for financing technology development that is absolutely essential in order to handle climate change. Being on the board allows me to help influence the direction and framework for what could become a major Norwegian industry, both in the domestic market and for export."

She is optimistic when it comes to what we can achieve within CCS.

"The world needs to achieve CCS, and energy production with negative CO2 emissions. It is only a question of when. I am optimistic that it will happen, and that Norway could play an integral role because we have unique storage possibilities on the shelf."

CCS is not something today's society is particularly concerned with. She wants to change this.

"The climate barometer published in early May showed that most people are very concerned with climate, while CCS was at the bottom of the list of measures. We have a job to do when it comes to communicating to the population at large that CCS is a sensible investment. The industry sector's investments do depend on political predictability, which in turn depends on the approval of the general public."

This is where CLIMIT can make a difference.

"CLIMIT could have a function in making the value of CCS understandable, also beyond the scientific communities. I believe the very best way to do this is to establish a plant and a value chain that proves this is part of the green shift, which also creates growth and jobs," she says.

Cato Christiansen: Important to strengthen and maintain expertise

Cato Christiansen works on developing CCS in Shell Technology Norway AS. For the past nine years, he has worked on CCS research and technology development, and played a key role in Shell's organisation in the establishment of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM). He will bring his knowledge from Shell's global portfolio of CO2 projects with him to CLIMIT's board. He has been a member of the management committee in several of the CLIMIT projects that Shell has taken part in.

"I am very familiar with CLIMIT through my job. Shell has been an industrial sponsor on a number of projects. I see CLIMIT as an essential contributor for strengthening and maintaining the already high level of CCS expertise in Norway."

He believes that we need to get CCS in place in order to meet the energy demands of a growing population.

"We will not be able to meet the world's energy needs in this century without fossil fuels, and we will not be able to handle the associated CO2 emissions without capture and storage. There will also be CO2 emissions from industry where the CO2 emissions are part of the process itself, and where CO2 capture and storage is the only alternative. We cannot avoid CCS if we are to achieve our climate goals."

Though the development of CCS is delayed, he sees the bright side.

"Globally, there are many exciting projects in their starting phase. Once some of them are completed, I believe there will be a spark that will get even more started," he says.

Karen Lyng Anthonsen: Important to get capture, storage and transport to connect

Karen Lyng Anthonsen is a geologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and has worked on various projects within CO2 storage for the past eight years. She has taken part in a number of EU projects, headed by Norway, Denmark, as well as other EU countries. The projects include mapping of suitable CO2 storage sites in Europe. She is very pleased to become part of CLIMIT's board.

"I look forward to being able to help select the best projects applying for support from CLIMIT. It will be exciting to have an eye on technical developments, and to help control the direction in which CO2 capture and storage will develop."

She has a strong hope that a demonstration project will be initiated.

"It would be incredibly valuable to gain more knowledge about how to optimise capture, transport and storage, as well as the interaction between the three. It is important that they all get started, and that we get them to work together. Then we can identify and pinpoint the problems along the chain."

CO2 storage was a topic in Denmark four-five years ago, but has been subject to little debate since.

"However, we are seeing signs of renewed interest in CCS in connection with power production based on biofuels. I believe that bio-CCS will eventually come," she says.


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