Boundary Dam CCS proponents (specifically Premier Brad Wall) have sought to justify the $1.5-billion of public funds expended by pointing to the global growth potential of carbon capture. They have used the same to justify minimal support for wind and solar power despite our world-class resource of both and their rapid growth elsewhere around the World.

So we decided to test the validity of Premier Wall's assertion by looking at the global investment which has taken place in CCS, wind and solar, from 2004 to 2015. Here is the result.

 

Source: 2004-2014: Bloomberg NEF via Frankfurt School/UNEP Collaborating Centre 'Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015'. 
2015: BloombergNEF via Clean Energy Canada's 'Tracking the Energy Revolution Global 2016'. 
Global CCS data: MIT. 'Power Plant Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Projects

 

Since Boundary Dam proponents claim that CCS is a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions from power generation; our analysis only considers CCS units attached to electricity generating stations. 

During the period only a single power station with carbon capture was launched anywhere in the world - and that was at Boundary Dam in 2014. It speaks volumes that no other CCS project was launched that year or in 2015. In fact in the last couple of years there have been some notable cancellations such as the UK's White Rose and Norway's Mongstad.  

The strong and steady growth of wind and solar over the period probably means little in isolation. However it puts things in context when you consider that in 2015 more money flowed into new renewable capacity (most of which was wind and solar) than into new fossil fuel power generation capacity. That was the second time ever: the first was in 2014.

The bottom line is that of total global capital investment into CCS, wind and solar, from 2004 to 2015, 54.5 percent went into solar, 45.4 percent into wind and only 0.1 percent into CCS.

Makes you think!