Carbon Capture and Renewables: Strategic Conflicts or Tactical Complementarities

Elliott, David (2019). Carbon Capture and Renewables: Strategic Conflicts or Tactical Complementarities. In: Wood, Geoffrey and Baker, Keith eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Managing Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 25–55.



While coal use is being challenged around the world, renewable energy is accelerating ahead and those who back the latter strongly often feel that any talk of finding ways to reduce the impact of continuing to use fossil fuel risks deflecting or slowing the growth of renewables. However, it is still the case that fossil fuels remain the dominant energy suppliers, and they will be so for some while. In which case, if carbon emission reduction is seen as urgent, then clean-up options are also urgent, if only perhaps as an interim measure. This chapter looks at some of the key options for abating emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel, focussing on the various types of carbon capture, their potentials and problems and possible conflicts or complementarities with renewables. While the prospects for carbon capture do not look good at present, it is argued that some of the technologies may have an interim role, but that is set in the context of diminishing reliance on fossil fuel.

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