Dave Elliott: In a forthcoming Palgrave book, The Long Goodbye to Fossil Fuels edited by Geoff Wood et al. my chapter in it makes clear, of the many technical clean-up/ameliorative options, some may complement rather than undermine renewables, so that conflicts might be reduced somewhat. For example, while carbon capture and storage (CCS) might be seen as just a way to allow for the continued use of fossil fuel (see my last post), its initial development for that purpose might also be seen as an interim step toward the adoption of “negative carbon” biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). However, there are issues. Some see enthusiasm for BECCS as misplaced – and unwelcome anyway given its large-scale land use – and as a smokescreen for continued fossil fuel use with CCS. So, although there might be some complementarity, the potential for conflicts still remains. For some greens, perhaps understandably, having anything to do with fossil fuel will remain an anathema, but if we are to move successfully to a sustainable future, they may have to learn to “deal with the devil with a long spoon”, at least for a while. But does that mean that BECCS is still in with a chance? See my next post – it may not be needed.
Physics World 12th Sept 2018 read more »