Climate change is one of the major concerns of the entire world. Many countries recently started to make a change in their methods to lower down certain factors that were affecting the overall climatic change. The US saw one of the biggest reductions in the levels of carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to the increase in their renewable power source. They actually fell by approx. three percent. Furthermore, the demand for coal has reduced a lot for the past few years. So, is eliminating carbon the best solution to manage the changing climate? Decoding the concept a bit more.
Talking About Carbon Capture And Its Assumed Benefits
Some of the Nobel prize winners thought it was a great idea to start capturing carbon and monetizing it. The technologies allow us to do that. But, still, all of that is not helping the bottom line results, why? It is because there has been a substantial increase in the number of energy-related industries. So, carbon capture could be a gamble actually. The problem lies in the economic behavior that classifies this industry as a different entity from the renewable ones such as solar, electric or other tech sectors.
Carbon capture works. But, it’s not the only solution that one should be dependent on. There are many factors that lead to an increase in the number of carbon emissions. Solar is generating power, electric cars are running and now you don’t have to go to a gas station. This is a market that is independent of the effects of carbon emissions. Although there is an increase in such technological innovations. But, companies and countries are still sticking to old-fashioned coal and other non-renewable resources for energy consumption. Some companies are working to suck the carbon emissions and are selling them to cola companies. Hence, the overall profit of minimizing the carbon products in the environment.
Carbon Capturing- Is it a Hope to Avoid Climate Change
One of the hopes to avoid any climate change is that you need to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, there is an opinion going rounds that there is approximately 1.5 degrees reduction in the warming temperature due to the carbon capture technology. And it will actually be helpful. But, somehow it feels like more of the gamble than be the only solution for managing the change.
Research by a scientist named Mark Z. Jacobson published an article in the Energy and Environmental Science suggested that carbon capture could be more harmful than doing good for the environment. The theory is working around the concept that it could reduce the amounts of carbon in the environment. However, studies are indicating that it is reducing only a few percentages of carbon emissions and is actually contributing to the increasing air pollution. It’s like replacing coal or a gas plant with a wind farm. You are not all the time reducing carbon but just increasing equipment cost.
The research also suggests that carbon capture technologies bear a lot of social costs as well. These include increasing air pollution, which we already mentioned in the article above, along with with potential health issues, added economic costs, and it could also be adding some changes to the climate as well. And all of this seems to be more than a fossil fuel plant. So, governments must focus on replacing coal and gas with renewable sources instead of spending their expenditure on capturing carbon emissions from the environment.
About The Study
In this, the study was based on two carbon capture plants where both of them were running on natural gas. The first plant was attached to a carbon capture unit and the other has no such attachments. Rather, it will pull the carbon dioxide from the air using some chemical process. So, scientists worked on different factors to measure the efficiency of both plants. Ideally, carbon capture efficiency must be between 80-90%, however, none of the plants were meeting the expectation. So, as per the calculations, this equipment could capture only 10-11 percent of the total carbon dioxide. Due to its higher energy needs, carbon capture plant could add to the social costs as well. Even if you replace natural gas with the wind, the social cost would still be the same.
Carbon capturing technology not only makes things harder for the environment, but it also adds to financial burden over a country as well. Although, it is better to work with renewable sources of energy instead of investing in carbon capture technologies. Just replace coal with solar, electric, and natural gas; and see the change. Carbon capture is a completely theoretical process. One needs to work on better ideas that will replace coal as a form of energy instead of continuing using these sources. It is not a good stake to capture the emissions produced by these sources will you are still using them instead of replacing them with the ones who don’t cause such emissions at all.