CCS could reduce UK energy costs by £45bn

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for the power sector has huge potential to help the UK meet greenhouse gas and energy security targets, according to a report released today.

Compiled by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), which is made up of bodies including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the report states that CCS could reduce UK energy system costs by £10-45bn by 2050.

Innovation within the sector is of particular importance, according to the report, and could create a UK industry with the potential to contribute further economic value of £3-16bn by 2050.

In addition, the report states that significant private sector investment in innovation, catalysed by public sector support, could deliver the bulk of these benefits with “strong value for money.”

The report states: “Although necessarily more expensive than unabated fossil fuel energy generation, CCS is expected to be a relatively low cost method of reducing GHG emissions (comparable to wind and nuclear), especially when considering full energy system requirements. CCS offers many unique benefits to a low-carbon energy and economic system.”

However, the report acknowledged that there were barriers to innovation concepts including high uncertainty, long lead times, and spill over risks that inhibit individual companies from making required investments. It claimed this created a need for support to earlier stage, breakthrough technologies.

The report also cited uncertainties surrounding the environmental impacts of CCS such as the risk of CO2 leaking from where it is stored underground.

Conor McGlone

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