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Webinar slides - Public perceptions of CCS: Polling results from the Project Pioneer in Alberta, Canada

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Don Wharton, Vice-President of Sustainable Development at TransAlta, joined the Institute for a discussion on CCS public opinion polling, on 22 September 2011. …

Don Wharton, Vice-President of Sustainable Development at TransAlta, joined the Institute for a discussion on CCS public opinion polling, on 22 September 2011.

Mr. Wharton is responsible for leading TransAlta’s sustainability initiatives, including implementing TransAlta’s strategic approach to environmental policy, climate change, and managing its carbon offsets portfolio.

He has chemical engineering qualifications from the University of Calgary and has worked in the energy and environment fields for almost 30 years.

TransAlta is leading a consortium comprising Capital Power and Enbridge, to develop Project Pioneer, a retrofit of a newly built coal-based power plant nearby Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

In mid 2010, TransAlta established a baseline of public opinion on CCS in Alberta and Canada via extensive telephone polling activity. The polling, conducted by an independent polling organisation, on behalf of Project Pioneer and Shell’s Quest Project, asked Albertans and Canadians, their views on a range of social, environmental and climate change issues. This polling was repeated in July 2011 and the results, showing solid support for CCS, are very informative.

Mr. Wharton briefly explained the polling methodology, and then drilled down into the rich vein of information which emerged from the polling, and discussed how the results will inform and shape Pioneer’s strategy and approach.


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  • 1. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTEPublic perceptions of CCS: lessons from CanadaDon WhartonTransAlta – Project PioneerWWW.GLOBALCCSINSTITUTE.COM
  • 2. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE WELCOME Your MC for today’s webinar … Crispin Walker Projects, Financial and Commercial Team Global CCS Institute 1
  • 3. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE DON WHARTON - Vice-President, Sustainable Development at TransAlta Corporation - Leads TransAlta’s CCS work on environmental issues and knowledge transfer. - Chair of the Canadian Clean Power Coalition (CCPC), Chair of the Canadian Working Group of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). - Almost 30 years in the energy and environment fields, both public and private sector experience. Chemical Engineering qualifications from the University of Calgary. 2
  • 4. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE QUESTIONS You can submit questions to Don simply by typing your question directly into the GoToWebinar control Panel. 3
  • 5. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE CCS OPINION POLLING R E C E N T E X P E R I E N C E F RO M P RO J E C T P I O N E E R Global CCS Institute Webinar Sept 22, 2011 Don Wharton VP Sustainable Development TransAlta Corporation 4
  • 6. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE PROJECT PIONEER • Post-combustion retrofit CCS project on 450MW supercritical coal plant • Will capture 1 million tonnes/year • $1.3B project to be operational in 2015 • Funded in part by Alberta and Canadian governments • Full component project – capture, pipeline, storage • Storage in both saline aquifer and enhanced oil recovery • Managed by a consortium partnership – TransAlta, Enbridge, Capital Power • Status: FEED underway, decision to proceed March 2012 5
  • 7. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE POLLING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES – Measuring the issue agenda; – Determining awareness, knowledge and viewpoints on CSS; – Establishing the relative importance of CCS; – Exploring how Albertans can best be educated on the subject; – Determining awareness, knowledge & viewpoints on Project Pioneer; – Compare changes in attitudes to 2010 survey. The overarching objective of the polling is to provide a baseline of public attitudes on CCS and to guide future communication initiatives. 6
  • 8. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE METHODOLOGY • TransAlta commissioned Ipsos Reid* to conduct research with Albertans regarding CCS • 1,600 telephone interviews were completed: – 800 interviews conducted with a random sample of adult Albertans – 400 additional interviews with community residents in the vicinity of Project Pioneer – Another 400 interviews for Shell with residents near Shell’s Quest CCS Project • The margins of error for the study were: – Alberta General Public Sample + / - 3.5 percentage points; and, – TransAlta Community Sample + / - 4.9 percentage points. • Interviews were fielded from August 4th to 14th, 2011. The average interview length was 20 minutes. This presentation will focus on results from the Alberta General Public Sample of 800. * Ipsos Reid is Canada’s largest market research and public opinion polling firm, with over 500 research professionals. It operates the largest network of telephone call centres and consumer panels in Canada. 7
  • 9. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE SUMMARY FINDINGS 1. Our 2011 polling results are highly consistent with those from 2010. 2. Public support for the concept of CCS in Alberta remains strong, although… 3. Natural awareness and understanding of CCS and projects is still modest. 4. A strong majority see CCS as no more risky than other energy infrastructures. 5. There’s a high desire for more information about CCS. 6. A majority support government investment in CCS. 7. There’s majority support for continued use of coal for power generation if CCS is deployed. 8
  • 10. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE URGENCY OF CLIMATE CHANGE 2010 Very urgent 15% 36% 39% Urgent 21% Somewhat Urgent 32% Not Very Urgent 16% 32% 28% Not At All Urgent 15% 2011 (n=800) A2. These days you may hear some people talking about climate change and global warming. For you personally is this an issue that is ... 9 Base: All respondents
  • 11. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE UNAIDED AWARENESS OF APPROACHES INTENDED TO REDUCE CO2 EMISSIONS Carbon Capture & Storage/ CCS 18% 21% Alternative Energy (Net) 10% 19% Wind power 4% 10% Solar energy 4% 9% Alternative energy 3% Environmentally Friendly Cars (Net) 12% 16% Electric cars 5% 8% Hybrid cars 3% 4% Environmentally friendly cars [incl. energy efficient, eco, new car etc.] 2% 3% Reducing carbon emissions 4% Storage (General) 3% 4% Other 19% 45% Nothing 20% 20% Dont Know 20% 20% First Mention Other Mention *Note: Results <3% placed in ‘other’ B1. As you are probably aware, efforts are being made to use new technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Canada. Were interested in learning how well information about these technologies has been communicated to Canadians. To the best of your knowledge, what technology or new approaches are - or soon will be - used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Canada? 10 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 12. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE TOTAL AWARENESS OF CCS Unaided Awareness “To the best of your knowledge, what technology or new approaches are – or soon will be – used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Canada?” CCS = 21% (166 of 800 respondents) Total Awareness 2010 65% 64% Aided Awareness “Before talking to me today, have you heard, seen or read anything about a technology called Carbon Capture and Storage – also known by its initials as CCS?” Yes = 55% (351 of the remaining 634 respondents) 11
  • 13. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE WHAT IS CSS? Storing CO2/ carbon underground 53% 53% Capturing carbon before it comes off/ going into the air 40% 41% Pumps back carbon dioxide into caverns/ empty oil wells/ 19% 20% pipelines Storage/ storing CO2/ carbon - unspecified 7% 8% Heard about it/ know it exist 7% 7% Good for the environment/ helps reduce emissions 4% 6% 3% Use for oil recovery/ get more oil 5% New (unproven) technology/ pilot project 3% 5% Too expensive/ waste of money 4% Reusing/ recycling (for energy) 4% 4% Being done in other countries/ part of Alberta and 4% Saskatchewan 3% 4% Dont understand it (what it is, how it works, etc.) 3% I am opposed to it 3% 3% Related to oil and gas industry 3% Government funding(in billions)/ pursuing it 3% 3% Treating/ processing carbon (liquid or solid form) 3% May not work/ help the environment 9% 14% Other 6% 6% Nothing 6% 6% Dont Know First Mention Other Mention B3. What is Carbon Capture and Storage or CCS? What have you heard about it? 12 Base: Aware of Carbon Capture and Storage (n=517)
  • 14. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE SUPPORT FOR CCS (AMONG THOSE AWARE OF CCS BEFORE STUDY) Strongly support the 2010 use of CCS 13% 64% 66% Somewhat support the use of CCS 51% Somewhat oppose the use of CCS 14% 25% 23% Strongly oppose the use of CCS 11% Dont Know 11% 2011 (n=517) B4. Based on what you know so far, do you... 13 Base: Aware of Carbon Capture and Storage
  • 15. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE DESCRIPTION OF CSS PRESENTED TO RESPONDENTS “Carbon capture and storage – or CCS for short – is a technology that captures and stores the carbon dioxide released from large industrial facilities so that it does not enter the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is captured, transported by pipeline and injected into storage sites that are more than one kilometer underground and covered by dense layers of rock. The sites are monitored on an ongoing basis into the future.” 14
  • 16. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE PERCEIVED BENEFITS OF CSS Reduce/ Remove CO2 (Net) 22% 23% Reducing CO2/ carbon in the atmosphere 10% 11% Cutting down CO2 emissions 7% 7% Removing CO2/ carbon from the environment 5% 6% Prevent CO2 (Net) 23% 23% Prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere 14% 14% Capture CO2/ carbon before it is released into the air 9% 9% Decrease global warming/ greenhouse effect 7% 9% Better air quality 7% 9% Improve/ help the environment 5% 6% Less pollution (unspecified) 5% 6% Storing CO2/ carbon into the ground 5% 5% (incl. carbon sequestration) First Mention Other Mention B5A. What do you think is the main benefit of CCS? 15 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 17. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE PERCEIVED DRAWBACKS OF CSS Leakage/ ruptures 18% 22% Cost/ expensive 13% 17% The unknown (long term) effects/ the long term effects 10% 13% Not addressing/ delaying (emission/ CO2) problem/ solution 9% 10% Water pollution/ contamination of ground water 4% 5% Underground storage/ sealing 4% 4% Effect on the environment 3% 4% Ineffective/ wont work 3% 4% Soil pollution/ contamination of ground 3% 4% Safeguards/ safety 3% 4% Limited space for storage 3% 3% Unproven technology 3% 3% Waste of time/ money 2% 3% Monitoring/ managing/ regulation concerns 2% 3% Concerns with the amount of knowledge (of others) 2% 3% Other 22% 38% Nothing 9% 9% Dont Know 7% 7% First Mention Other Mention B5B. What do you think is the main concern or drawback of CCS? 16 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 18. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE PRIORITIZING & SUPPORTING CSS SomewhatDon’t know Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree 2010 <1% 21% 10 11 CCS should be a top priority of 40% 38% 79% 81% companies that produce energy 4% 26% 13%13% CCS will benefit Canada 27% 44% 71% 72% 2% 32% 15% 18% CCS is part of a long term solution to 24% 42% 66% 67% protecting the environment I will think of companies who use CCS 4% 31% 18% 14% more favourably than I did before 23% 43% 65% 68% CCS is a good way to balance 2% 33% 16% 17% economic development and protecting 20% 45% 65% 70% the environment CCS will have a very positive impact 5% 31% 16% 15% on the environment 20% 45% 64% 69% CCS should - in part - be supported 1% 38% 15% 23% by funding from government 21% 40% 61% 63% 3% 36% 18% 18% I personally support CCS projects 18% 43% 61% 63% CCS should be a top priority of 1% 39% 20% 19% government 21% 40% 60% 63% I would support the development of a 3% 37% 14% 23% CCS project in my community 18% 42% 60% 63% B6A. Im now going to read you some statements about Carbon Capture and Storage overall. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each. The first statement is ... What about ... ? 17 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 19. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE REASONS FOR SUPPORTING CCS PROJECTS Good for the environment 19% Good idea/ it has merit 14% Prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere 8% Its a good start/ doing something 8% Economical development/ more jobs 4% Support CCS 3% Good for people/ family/ future 3% Good for/ improve image of the province/ country 1% All other positive mentions 8% Other 1% Nothing 1% B6B. Why do you say that? What is the main reason for saying that you agree (strongly/somewhat) with the statement, I personally support CCS projects? 18 Base: Gen pop Alberta sample who Agree with the statement I personally support CCS projects‘ (n=486)
  • 20. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE REASONS FOR NOT SUPPORTING CCS PROJECTS Doesnt deal with the bigger problems/ not long term/ there are better ways 29% Unproven technology 15% Wont provide any environmental benefits 11% Disagree with the idea/ the whole concept 11% Too expensive 10% Dont trust it/ the companies/ government 10% Paid for by government/ taxpayers 7% May hurt environment 3% Waste my time/ not interesting 3% All other negative mentions 3% Nothing 1% Dont Know 1% B6B. Why do you say that? What is the main reason for saying that you disagree (strongly/somewhat) with the statement, I personally support CCS projects? 19 Base: Gen pop Alberta sample who Disagree with the statement I personally support CCS projects‘ (n=289)
  • 21. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE VIEWS ON POTENTIAL CONCERNS FOR CCS Somewhat Strongly Agree Somewhat AgreeDon’t know Strongly Disagree Disagree 2010 CCS will neither increase nor 5% 29% 18% 11% decrease the total amount of fossil 27% 40% 66% 60% fuels consumed by Canadians Transporting CO2 to storage by 6% 31% 21% 10 pipeline poses a low safety risk 18% 45% 63% 64% Storing CO2 poses low risk for human 7% 43% 28% 15% or animal health 13% 38% 50% 33% With CCS, CO2 will remain stored and 7% 44% 28% 16% not cause greenhouse gas emissions 11% 38% 49% 48% in the future Storing CO2 poses low risk for soil or 8% 49% 29% 19% water pollution 11% 32% 43% 30% CCS can be implemented in a cost 9% 50% 27% 23% effective manner for taxpayers and 8% 34% 42% 42% consumers The future results for the environment 3% 71% 34% 38% of using CCS are well understood 4 22% 26% 26% B7. Next, Id like to read you some more specific statements about Carbon Capture and Storage. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each one. The first is ... What about ... ? 20 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 22. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE VIEWS ON BENEFITS OF CSSDon’t know Somewhat Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Strongly Disagree Disagree 2010 Using CCS will create jobs and 1% 20% 13% 7 bring other economic benefits 23% 55% 78% 79% CCS will allow energy companies in Canada to 1% 23% 12%11% continue their activities while still 25% 51% 76% 79% reducing carbon dioxide emissions CCS can be implemented more quickly to benefit the 8% 38% 24% 14% environment than can other 11% 43% 54% 57% potential technologies and approaches CCS will help to increase the 5% 41% 26% 16% amount of oil and gas that can 15% 39% 54% 54% be produced in Canada Using CCS will make it less likely that we as Canadians will 3% 50% 26% 23% have to significantly change our 13% 35% 48% 51% lifestyles in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions B8. Now, Id like to read you some statements about benefits that people may think will come from using Carbon Capture and Storage. Wed like to know what you think about each of these possible benefits. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each one. The first is ... What about ...? 21 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 23. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE INTEREST IN INFORMATION ABOUT CCS Dont know <1% 2010 No 28% Yes = 74% No = 26% Yes 71% B9. If you could get information in a way that works well for you, would you be interested in learning more about how CCS is being used in Canada? 22 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 24. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE AWARENESS OF PROJECT PIONEER Dont know <1% Yes 7% 2010 Yes = 7% No = 93% No 92% E5. Before talking to me today, did you know that TransAlta is developing a Carbon Capture and Storage Project called Project Pioneer? 23 Base: Respondents who did not mention project Pioneer (n=799)
  • 25. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE KNOWLEDGE OF PROJECT PIONEER (AMONG THOSE PREVIOUSLY AWARE)Project has started/ theyre working on it 12% 14% Just the name/ that it exists 9% 9% On the news/ newspaper 7% 7% Project to capture CO2/ carbon 7% 7% Funded/ supported/ approved by the government 2% 2% Heard from friends/ spouse 2% 2% Other 22% 24% Nothing 32% 32% Dont Know 9% First Mention Other Mention*Caution: Small base E6. What have you heard about TransAltas Project Pioneer? Base: Aware that TransAlta is developing a Carbon Capture and Storage Project called Project Pioneer (n=59*) 24
  • 26. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE IMPRESSIONS & SUPPORT FOR PIONEER Somewhat Strongly Agree Somewhat AgreeDon’t know Strongly Disagree Disagree 2010 Project Pioneer will benefit 4% 18% 10% 8 Alberta 30% 49% 79% 80% Project Pioneer is a good way to balance economic 3% 25% 14%11% development and protecting 22% 50% 72% 73% the environment Project Pioneer will have a 4% 27% 16% 11% very positive impact on the 21% 48% 69% 71% environment Project Pioneer makes me 3% 33% 21% 12% think of TransAlta more 22% 42% 64% 66% favourably than I did before I personally support Project 5% 32% 18% 14% Pioneer 21% 42% 63% 64% E9. Now Id like to read you some statements about Project Pioneer. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each one. 25 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 27. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE REASONS FOR SUPPORTING PIONEER Good idea/ it has merit 23% Good for the environment 21% Prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere 10% Economical development/ more jobs 8% Its a good start/ doing something 5% Good for/ improve image of the province/ 3% country Support CCS 2% Good for people/ family/ future 2% All other positive mentions 6% Not familiar with it/ need more information 19% Other 3% Nothing 1% Dont Know 3% E10. Why do you say that? What is the main reason for saying that you agree (strongly/somewhat) with the statement, ‘ I personally support Project Pioneer? Base: Agree with the statement I personally support Project Pioneer (n=463) 26
  • 28. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE REASONS FOR NOT SUPPORTING PROJECT PIONEER Disagree with the idea/ the whole concept 19% Doesnt deal with the bigger problems/ not long term/ there are better ways 16% Unproven technology 10% Too expensive 9% Dont trust it/ the companies/ government 8% Wont provide any environmental benefits 7% Paid for by government/ taxpayers 6% May hurt environment 2% Not familiar with it/ need more information 30% Other 1% Nothing 1% Dont Know 2% E10. Why do you say that? What is the main reason for saying that you disagree (strongly/somewhat) with the statement, I personally support Project Pioneer’? 27 Base: Disagree with the statement I personally support Project Pioneer‘ (n=239)
  • 29. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE PERCEIVED SAFETY RISKS OF CCS VS. OTHER ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE More safety risk 18% About the same 55% Less safety risk 21% Dont Know 5% 2011 (n=800) F1. Energy infrastructure can be found in locations all over Canada. This includes oil and gas wells, oil and gas pipelines, electricity generation plants and electricity transmission lines. Compared to this type of infrastructure, do you think the potential safety risks of a Carbon Capture and Storage facility would be about the same, more or less? 28 Base: All respondents
  • 30. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE COAL VS. NATURAL GAS FIRED GENERATION Dont know 7% Yes Yes 29% 41% No 52% No 62% 2010 2010 No = 47% No = 58%F2A. Coal is used to produce electricity in Alberta and five other F2B. What if I told you that Alberta has a supply of inexpensive coal thatCanadian provinces. Do you think that Alberta should shut down will last hundreds of years? Knowing this, do you still think Albertathe plants which generate electricity using coal and replace them should shut down the plants which generate electricity using coal andwith plants that use natural gas instead? replace them with plants that use natural gas instead? Base: Think that Alberta should shut down the plants which generate electricity 29 Base: All respondents (n=800) using coal and replace them with plants that use natural gas instead (n=330)
  • 31. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE COAL AND THE BENEFITS OF CSS – AIDED Somewhat Strongly Agree Somewhat AgreeDon’t know Strongly Disagree Disagree 2010 I would personally support expanding the use of coal in 2% 23% 13%11% Canada if using CCS meant that it 32% 43% 75% 74% would have no more impact on the environment than other ways of producing energy If CCS was used to reduce the 3% 38% 21% 17% carbon dioxide emissions, I would 20% 40% 60% 59% personally support expanding the use of coal in Canada to help address our growing energy needs F3. Please tell me whether you personally strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each of the following statements. 30 Base: All respondents (n=800)
  • 32. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE Questions? 31
  • 33. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE 32
  • 34. GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE www.globalccsinstitute.com