Location: The Oxford Martin School
Many governments and energy providers are turning to biomass as a renewable energy source. Biomass is biological material from living, or recently living organisms that can be used directly or converted into other energy products such as biofuel. BECCS (Biomass Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage) is an emerging technology that has been proposed to achieve negative carbon emissions. The idea is that we can burn biomass to generate electricity and then store away the resulting emissions - that is, capture the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground, rather than releasing it back into the air. However, many argue that much further research is needed to road-test the sustainability credentials of the technology as it scales. This seminar involved four panelists who made brief presentations on how BECCS can work commercially, the various pathways for further developing the technology, limits inherent in using biomass as a fuel on a global scale, and the role that BECCS and other terrestrial carbon requestration options might play in a low-carbon future for the UK. These presentations were followed by a question and answer period with the audience and discussion amongst the participants.
This event was part of a seminar series: “The science, governance and ethics of climate intervention techniques.”