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Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is essential for reaching decarbonisation goals, Csaba Lantos, the energy minister, said on Saturday. Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 37% in Hungary since 1990, and the National Energy and Climate Strategy calls for a 50% reduction by 2030, he said at a presentation of a book on carbon dioxide storage and utilisation opportunities in Hungary. Last year, Hungary was the fourth most effective EU member state in reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy production, he said, having reduced this ratio by 8.6%. Only the three Benelux countries outperformed Hungary, he added.
Citing a recent Hungarian study, Lantos said CCUS may be the only way of ensuring the viability of existing power plants and industrial facilities, which can be retrofitted with carbon dioxide capture technology. Electricity generated by renewable energy can replace some processes, but not all industrial processes can be made electricity-based, he said, citing the examples of heavy industry, long-distance transport and cement production, which would rely on CCUS to achieve zero emissions.
Parts of the steel industry that use CCUS technologies now are the most advanced and cheapest low-carbon solutions for the production of new steel, he said. Only twenty large emitters account for 70% of Hungarian emissions where CCUS is relevant, so it would be fairly easy to make changes with relatively few players involved, he said. Around 47 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are spewed into the country’s atmosphere annually, much of it by fossil fuelled power plants, metal producers, the chemical industry and cement makers. Since these produce emissions in large volumes they are big CCUS contenders, he added.