NITI Aayog’s Assessment

NITI Aayog launches CCUS policy framework


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: CCUS

Mains level: Not Much


The NITI Aayog has prepared a report on the policy framework for Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).

What is Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)?

  • It is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions and either using them to make things such as building materials (utilization) or permanently storing those thousands of feet below the surface (storage).
  • Capturing carbon dioxide from industrial operations before it has a chance to enter the atmosphere helps reduce emissions, as does removing it directly from the air.
  • The carbon dioxide is then reused or sent through an injection well deep underground where it is locked away safely and permanently.
  • It’s a straightforward concept that takes infrastructure and policy considerations to implement, and Chevron is committed to making it work.

Steps involved in CCUS

  • Capturing the carbon dioxide for storage: The CO2 is separated from other gases produced in industrial processes, such as those at coal and natural-gas-fired power generation plants or steel or cement factories.
  • Transport: The CO2 is then compressed and transported via pipelines, road transport or ships to a site for storage.
  • Storage: Finally, the CO2 is injected into rock formations deep underground for permanent storage.

What has NITI Aayog identified?

  • CCUS has a critical role to play for the country to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.
  • Key challenge would be to reduce the cost of the mechanisms to implement the technology.
  • CCUS could enable the production of clean products while utilising rich endowments of coal, reducing imports and thus leading to a self-reliant India economy.
  • It has an important role to play in enabling sunrise sectors such as coal gasification and the nascent hydrogen economy in India.

Key sectors identified for carbon utilization

  • Green urea: Green urea can be produced from the captured CO 2 and cost-competitive green hydrogen, from renewable energy-based electrolysis of water. Green urea can replace/complement the traditional LNG/NG-based production and import of ammonia and urea.
  • F&B applications: CO2 is utilized in F&B applications such as carbonated drinks, dry ice, and modified atmosphere packing; however, the scales are much lower compared to green urea.
  • Building materials (concrete and aggregates): There is a large market for aggregates and concrete in a developing country like India, providing a pathway for utilizing CO2 for producing building materials through concrete curing and aggregate formation. In these applications, CO2 is injected in a liquid state without any conversion, thus reducing the energy requirements.
  • Chemicals (methanol and ethanol): Conversion of CO2 to methanol and ethanol from CO2 is proven at a commercial scale in different parts of the world.

Why such move?

  • India’s per capita CO2 emissions were about 1.9 tonnes per annum, which was less than 40% of the global average and about one-fourth of that of China.
  • India needs a sustainable solution for the decarbonization of sectors that contribute to 70% of emission.

Why CCUS is important?

  • CCUS helps reduce the carbon intensity of industrial operations and is a critical component of meeting the global net-zero ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
  • In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes in its Global Warming of 1.5 °C report that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 isn’t possible without ambitious mitigation action.


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