CCS key to meeting climate change targets say ETI

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the most cost effective way of meeting climate change targets and needs to be deployed sooner rather than later, according to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The organisation claimed delaying the rollout of CCS technology could add around £1.2bn a year to the cost of meeting the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets if it is not implemented soon and called for commercial plant to built to help the industry take off in this country.

The ETI also said there is significant storage capacity off the British coast, with no technical barriers to prevent the use of CCS technology.

According to the group, no more than six hubs and 20 offshore stores would be needed to deploy CCS fully around the country.

“Although critics have claimed it is expensive, our analysis has shown that the costs and risks to the UK’s decarbonisation pathway could actually be reduced by bringing it forward, rather than delaying the deployment of CCS,” said ETI programme manager, Andrew Green.

“Early commitment by private sector investors will need similar commitments from the public sector to make investments attractive,” he added. “Therefore long-term policy commitment from government is more important than early funding.

“The key to early cost reduction for CCS is through the deployment of investable projects rather than creating new capture technology platforms. The challenge CCS presently faces is a commercial one, not a technical one.”

The chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, Dr Luke Warren, said the UK has been in “a holding pattern” in regard to a new strategy around CCS, since the government cancelled the CCS competition in November 2015.

“We believe that, with the right conditions, a UK CCS industry can be kick-started with modest sums of money pre-2020,” said Warren.

“However we need to get started now to ensure that the UK doesn’t lose the CCS option. Investing in CCS in key industrial regions can unlock decarbonisation right across the economy, including the industry, heating and power sectors.”

Commenting on the report, Dipali Raniga, senior energy and environment adviser at the manufacturer’s organisation EEF, said: “For many industrial processes, CCS provides the only way to lower carbon emissions in a carbon constrained future.

“It is important that CCS is developed, and the necessary policy and support from government is brought forward, to deliver CCS as a cost-effective solution for the UK in power and industrial processes, as well as opening up potential new markets for UK firms,” added Raniga.

Last week, the Treasury denied forcing the now-defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) to axe a competition for carbon capture and storage pilot projects in late 2015, during a one-off session for the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee.

Jamie Hailstone

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title, Utility Week

Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    CCS is not technically difficult, the chemical engineering lies within stabdard technologies. The problem lies in the inevitably high costs. Adsorbers will be needed in quantity, and losses and degredation will occur of possibly costly materials. Energy costs in the plant, and for transport, pumping, will be very high.
    The decision is simply, is it worth it?
    For electricity generation, I would say not, go to nuclear, but this scares the pants off the politicians when it actually comes to it,
    With 80 percent nuclear, the small balance of CCGT would not be worth bothering about.
    Leave the science and engineering to scientists and engineers, not to politicians.
    Richard Phillips

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