Carbon capture industry a UK jobs and cash boost

The carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry could be worth up to £6.5 billion a year and create 100,000 jobs by 2030, the government says.

It made the claim as it revealed Yorkshire and the Humber are to be the UK’s first Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) for CCS.

Ed Miliband, energy and climate change secretary, said: “CCS presents a massive industrial growth opportunity for the UK.

“We have a strong, established and skilled workforce in precisely the sectors needed to get CCS deployed at scale.

“And we have some of the best potential sites in all of Europe for CO2 storage under the North Sea.

“Coal is the most abundant worldwide energy resource but it is also the most polluting, so there is no solution to climate change without CCS.”

CCS involves the capture of harmful fossil fuel emissions, which are then moved offshore to be stored under the seabed.

Yorkshire and the Humber have been chosen because of the region’s high concentration of industries emitting carbon dioxide, nearness to North Sea storage sites and local expertise, it was revealed.

LCEAs were introduced last July (2009) as part of the government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

They are intended to focus national, local and regional agencies on promoting low carbon industry growth.

The designation would be a boon for the area Mr Miliband claimed in last Wednesday’s (March 17) announcement.

“Yorkshire and Humber is well placed to see the benefits from the jobs that investment in CCS can bring, other regions will too,” he said.

“For the UK economy as a whole these benefits could be worth up to £6.5 billion a year, sustaining jobs for up to 100,000 people, by 2030.”

The government also announced Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has been awarded £6.3 million to fund a trial carbon capture project at its coal-fired power plant in Ferrybridge, Yorkshire.

It hopes to make the UK a global leader in CCS. For more details on the UK’s CCS scheme clicking here.

David Gibbs

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