Clare rock unsuitable for carbon storage

Rocks around one of Ireland's biggest polluters of CO2 are not suitable for long-term storage of emissions a new study has found.

Research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the geology of West Clare, where Moneypoint power station is located, could not store carbon emissions.

Plans to use Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) near the power station would have limited the carbon footprint of the emissions as no transport would be involved.

However, the study, which involved advanced re-analysis of existing geological data and new drilling investigations in the region, found the ‘porous’ and ‘permeability’ of the rock would not work for CCS.

It also found the space available within the rock for storage is limited, and the effort needed to inject carbon dioxide into the space would be ‘prohibitive’.

Director of the EPA’s office of climate, licensing and resource use, Laura Burke, said: “This has been a very useful and worthwhile study and will assist in decision making by the power generation sector.

“The report points to the need to better assess the various options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The report, An Assessment of the Potential for Geological Storage of CO2 in the Vicinity of Moneypoint, is available on the EPA website by clicking here.

Luke Walsh

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