The Carbon Corner - Issue #84

In this week's edition, we delve into the forefront of environmental innovation with a trio of compelling stories. First, we uncover Honda's visionary approach to sustainability, as they plant 85,000 trees in Ohio to bolster biodiversity and carbon capture efforts. Then, we explore Red Trail Energy's groundbreaking initiative, forging partnerships to incentivize low-carbon farming practices for ethanol production. Finally, we journey to the North Sea, where the Norwegian Ministry of Energy spearheads a bold venture into carbon capture and storage, drawing significant interest from industry leaders. These narratives converge to illuminate the diverse strategies and collaborative spirit driving advancements in carbon mitigation and environmental stewardship.

Join us as we delve into the stories that are shaping the future of carbon capture!

Charting a Course for Carbon Capture: NSTA Launches Competitive Process for CO2 Storage in English Channel

The UK Government last year set out its vision for the carbon storage industry pledging up to £20 billion investment and suggesting that it has the potential to store the carbon equivalent of taking 6 million cars off the road, and support 50,000 jobs, by 2050.

In 2023, a number of steps were made in developing the UK’s CO2 transportation and storage industry, including the award of 21 licenses following the UK’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round, the establishment of a dedicated NSTA carbon storage development team to work with operators in the sector, significant progress made by the Track 1 and 2 projects on permit applications with decisions on four Track 1 applications expected to be taken in 2024, as well as a consultation to determine what carbon storage data should be shared and to what timescales is also underway and will assist the development of future sites.

The NSTA recently published two sets of guidance expected to help the industry prepare for first carbon storage injection.

Rooted in Sustainability: Honda Plants 85,000 Trees to Boost Biodiversity and Carbon Capture in Ohio

In a green initiative, Honda has just announced the planting of 85,000 trees in Union County, Ohio, marking a significant step in their ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. These trees, nestled on 100 acres of Honda-owned land near key production facilities, are not just any trees – they form the "Honda Power of Dreams Forest." Beyond their picturesque appeal, these native trees will bolster carbon sequestration efforts, fortify riparian buffers, and provide sanctuary to a plethora of local flora and fauna. Honda's collaboration with local farmers to implement USDA conservation practices and develop a maple syrup production system underscores their holistic approach to ecological stewardship.

At a celebratory event attended by associates and state officials, Honda symbolically planted trees, signifying their dedication to enhancing biodiversity and carbon capture. The project aligns seamlessly with Ohio's environmental goals, earning praise from state authorities for its contribution to clean water and healthy ecosystems. These efforts reflect Honda's broader environmental commitment, encapsulated in their "Triple Action to Zero" approach, which aims for zero environmental impact by 2050. With this tree-planting endeavor, Honda not only strides towards carbon neutrality but also fosters community engagement and sustainable practices, setting a commendable example for corporate environmental responsibility.

Green Harvest: Red Trail Energy Cultivates Low-Carbon Corn for Ethanol Innovation

Red Trail Energy, a leading ethanol plant at the forefront of carbon capture and storage, is revolutionizing the industry with a pioneering initiative to encourage farmers to cultivate low-carbon corn. Partnering with Indigo Ag, they're introducing a premium pricing program to incentivize sustainable agricultural practices, ultimately aiming to calculate carbon intensity scores and reward farmers accordingly. With CEO Jodi Johnson highlighting the exploratory nature of this endeavor, it's evident that the industry is collectively navigating the complexities of the burgeoning low-carbon fuel market.

To access the low-carbon market, ethanol plants like Red Trail must lower their carbon intensity scores, a feat achieved through a $35 million investment in cutting-edge carbon capture technology. This innovative system captures emissions from ethanol production and stores them underground in Richardton, North Dakota, leveraging favorable geological conditions for storage. Red Trail's collaboration with Indigo Ag takes this effort further by documenting sustainable farming practices, thereby reducing both the carbon intensity score of corn and the ethanol plant, elevating the value of the ethanol produced.

Established in 2007, Red Trail Energy has been a stalwart in ethanol production, boasting state-of-the-art facilities and a commitment to innovation. With an annual production capacity ranging from 59 to 64 million gallons of ethanol, the plant's emphasis on sustainability underscores its pivotal role in shaping the future of low-carbon fuels.

Norwegian Ministry's Carbon Capture Initiative: North Sea Storage Areas Draw Industry Interest

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy is making significant strides in the realm of carbon capture and storage (CCS) with the announcement of two designated areas in the North Sea for potential CO2 storage. Eight companies, including industry giants like Equinor and Wintershall Dea, have eagerly submitted applications for exploration licenses, indicating a strong interest in securing acreage for CCS endeavors. With the Ministry currently processing these applications, the stage is set for potential exploration license awards in the latter half of 2024, marking a crucial step forward in Norway's commitment to carbon mitigation efforts.

These designated areas, unveiled in March under Norwegian CO2 Storage Regulations, represent promising locations for CO2 storage, leveraging the North Sea's geological characteristics. Commercial players recognize the potential of these regions, signaling a collective push towards sustainable energy solutions. As the Ministry deliberates on the applications, anticipation mounts within the CCS community, underscoring the importance of international collaboration and regulatory support in advancing carbon capture initiatives. This development aligns with Norway's proactive stance in combating climate change, highlighting the country's pivotal role in shaping the future of carbon capture and storage technology.

Schaper Energy Consulting is a professional engineering firm offering carbon strategy services to CCS site developers. Check out some examples of our projects here:

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We hope you enjoyed reading this week and hope to see you back next week for more!

Schaper Energy Consulting

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