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Document 52017DC0037

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on Implementation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide

COM/2017/037 final

Brussels, 1.2.2017

COM(2017) 37 final


on Implementation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide


Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide 1 (so-called Carbon Capture and Storage Directive – hereinafter ‘CCS Directive’) establishes a legal framework for the environmentally safe geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). The CCS Directive aims to ensure that there is no significant risk of leakage of CO2 or damage to health or the environment, and to prevent any adverse effects on the security of the transport network or storage sites.

This report constitutes the second CCS Directive implementation report covering the period May 2013 - April 2016. It covers the progress since the first implementation report. 2 A report on review of the CCS Directive was adopted in 2015 3 . This report is based on the reports submitted by Member States. Twenty six Member States 4 submitted reports in time to be considered in this report.


All Member States have notified transposition measures to the Commission. To date, the Commission considers that the legislation of sixteen Member States is fully conforming to the Directive. Exchanges are still ongoing with the remaining Member States to bring their legislation fully in line with the requirements of the Directive.


3.1.Selection of storage sites

Compared to the previous reporting period, Member States have generally not determined any new areas from which storage sites may or may not be selected. Only Poland has determined one storage area. Five German federal states are preparing decisions or have passed laws limiting or banning underground storage of CO2, including for research purposes.

Those Member States that intend to allow storage on their territory have to carry out assessments of the available storage capacity. New assessments of the available storage have been carried out, are ongoing or planned in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

More detailed information is provided in the Annex to the report.

3.2.Exploration and storage permits applications

Applications for exploration permits have been filed only in Spain. One project applied for a storage permit in the UK: the Peterhead CCS project. The Commission delivered an opinion on the draft storage permit in January 2016 5 . An application for a storage permit is under evaluation in Italy and an application is expected to be submitted for the Q16 Maas field as part of the ROAD project in the Netherlands.

3.3.Feasibility for CCS retrofitting for new large scale combustions plants

The CCS Directive requires that when applying for licence, operators assess the technical and economic feasibility of carbon capture, transport and storage. If the assessment is positive, space on the installation site must be set aside for the equipment necessary to capture and compress CO2.

Assessments were carried out in Belgium (one), the Czech Republic (one), Germany (five), Romania (six), Poland (ten), Slovenia (one) and Spain (five). Assessments found that CCS is not economically feasible. Some further difficulties were found for some of the plants – no suitable storage sites in Belgium and Estonia or technical incompatibility with the flexible operation of a plant.

However, even if the assessments were not positive, many of the permitted power plants are setting aside land for the equipment to remove and compress CO2 and are designed in such a way that CCS can be connected later on without major layout modifications, e.g. in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany and Poland.

The legislation in the United Kingdom goes beyond the requirements of the Directive and grants permissions to power plants only if they can prove that they will meet the technical and economic feasibility conditions during the life-time of the power station. Permits for 14 power plants have been approved based on guidance provided by the authorities 6 . The economic assessments show that it is economically feasible that CCS could be retrofitted to the proposed power plants given an appropriate carbon price.

3.4.Research projects with relevance to the CCS Directive

Even if demonstration and commercialisation of CCS has not advanced during the reporting period, a number of Member States, as well as the EU, continue to support or plan to further support research activities to improve the technology and knowledge of underground storage of CO2 – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary, Malta, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. Some countries (e.g. Estonia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Poland) report exploring alternatives to geological storage of CO2 through various CO2 utilisation options. See Annex for further details.

3.5.CO2 transport and storage networks

There are two active CCS regional networks working to develop common, transboundary solutions for the transport and geological storage of CO2 - the North Sea Basin Task Force with the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Belgium and the Baltic Sea Region CCS network with Estonia, Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden. These networks may facilitate the transparent and non-discriminatory access to CO2 transport networks and CO2 storage sites for operators in Member States where there is no possibility of underground storage. Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and France are also exploring possibilities of developing hubs for industrial and power CO2 emissions in the areas of the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Grangemouth, Tees Valley and FossurMer.


The provisions of the CCS Directive have been consistently applied across the reporting period in the EU Member States.

Some Member States have advanced in their assessments of storage capacity but further and more detailed assessments will be needed should there be CCS projects starting.

Despite the lack of positive assessment for technical and economic feasibility for CCS retrofitting, newly built power plants are generally going beyond the legal requirements and are setting aside land should the conditions change in the future.


   Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, p. 114-135


   COM(2014)99, Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Implementation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide


   COM(2015)576, Report on review of Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide, Annex accompanying the document Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Climate action progress report


   Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom


   C(2016)152, Commission Opinion on a draft permit for the permanent storage of carbon dioxide in the depleted Goldeneye gas condensate field located in blocks 14/28b, 14/29a, 14/29e, 20/3b, 20/4b and 20/4c on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf

(6) and


Brussels, 1.2.2017

COM(2017) 37 final


to the


on Implementation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide

Determining areas from which storage may be selected (Article 4(1))

Member States retain the right to determine the areas from which storage sites may be selected, including the right not to allow storage in any part of their territories. Whereas most Member States do allow geological storage of CO2, some Member States do not allow CO2 storage on their territory or part of it due to unsuitability of their geology for CO2 storage (Finland, Luxembourg and the Brussels Capital Region of Belgium). A few Member States do not allow geological storage of CO2 (Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Slovenia) or restrict it offshore (the Netherlands, UK, Sweden), in time (Czech Republic 1 ), in quantity (Germany 2 ) or for demonstration purposes only (Poland).

Five German federal states 3 are preparing decisions or have passed laws limiting or banning underground storage of CO2, including for research purposes. The underpinning reasons span from prioritising uses of the underground such as for geothermal energy, storage of energy or mining to giving special emphasis on the public interest such as environmental and tourism concerns.

Poland has determined one storage area - the Cambrian reservoir within the Polish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - deep geological formations of exhausted hydrocarbon deposits and the surrounding area.

Assessing of storage capacity (Article 4(2))

The United Kingdom: As part of the Front End Engineering and Design study work under the UK CCS Commercialisation Competition, appraisal work was carried out on the Goldeneye and Endurance stores and published online . The UK also undertook a CO2 Storage Appraisal Project on five further stores, including outline storage development plans and budget. The project confirms that there are no major technical hurdles to storing industrial scale CO2 offshore in the UK with sites able to service mainland Europe as well as the UK. This project identified 20 specific CO2 storage sites (from 579 potential sites) which together represent the tip of a very large national CO2 storage resource potential, estimated to be around 78,000 MtCO2. The top 15% of this potential storage capacity would last the UK around 100 years.

Sweden: In the period 2011-2015, the Swedish Geological Survey participated in the Nordic CCS Competence Centre NORDICCS . One of the most important results of this is a web-based Nordic CO2 storage atlas , which provides a comprehensive overview of storage sites in the Nordic countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Reservoir simulations indicate a storage capacity of 250 Mt CO2 for each of two modelled storage units within Sweden's economic zone.

The Netherlands: The CO2 transport and storage plan will be updated in 2017. The update will examine which storage sites will become available in the future, whether those sites might be technically and geologically suitable, when they will become available and what their storage capacity is. It will also consider what the costs are of keeping the sites available for the storage of CO2 for a certain period of time where, for example, there is not yet the infrastructure to transport the CO2 to the storage site.

Greece has conducted a preliminary identification of suitable geological CO2 storage sites in sedimentary basins of Northern Greece. However, more detailed scientific studies are required for a more accurate assessment of the available storage capacity of these areas.

Hungary has carried out an assessment of geological structures potentially suitable for the geological storage of carbon dioxide and of their capacity in 2013.

Germany is doing a further assessment of CO2 storage capacity in deep saline aquifers using the methodology of the North American storage atlas for the purposes of an expert comparison of methods.

Italy is completing a Strategic Environmental Assessment that will allow assessing the available storage capacity.

Bulgaria: There is a draft proposal concerning a project for further evaluation of CO2 storage sites and funding is being sought.

The majority of current assessments done in the Member States are static and do not include aspects such as flow calculations, migration pathways and dissolution effects. Studying these parameters would be necessary for choosing the most appropriate monitoring techniques and for the optimisation of potential CO2 storage projects. Cost models would also improve the usefulness of CO2 storage assessments.

JRC is currently developing the first European CO2 Atlas in close cooperation with the European Geological Surveys based on a harmonised CO2 storage assessment methodology.

Research projects with relevance to the CCS Directive

Member States participate in EU and regional projects: the ERA-NET cofund projects ACT (Accelerating CCS technologies) and GeoERA, and the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation project CGS Baltic (CO2 Geological Storage in the Baltic Sea Region). The Netherlands is supporting a large-scale demonstration project – ROAD 4 . A number of research projects are of direct relevance to the implementation of the Directive, e.g. those developing better understanding of the underground storage potential, improving the methodology for characterisation and assessment of the potential storage complex and surrounding area, testing of CO2 injectivity and developing best practices related to the safe management and limitation of the potential impacts of CO2 storage.

Eleven Member States and one EEA country 5 participate in Action 9 of the SET-Plan - 'Renewing efforts to demonstrate CCS in the EU and developing sustainable solutions for carbon capture and use (CCU)'.


   CO2 storage in natural rock formations will not be authorised in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2020.


   Germany has imposed restrictions on the annual quantity of CO2 that can be stored: 4 Mt CO2 is the national total and 1.3 Mt of CO2 is permitted per storage site.


   Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt, Bremen.


   ROAD project, , one of the six CCS projects funded by the European Energy Programme for Recovery


   Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, UK