DECC puts CCS in the spotlight

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is ramping up its support for carbon capture and storage (CCS) with the announcement of new funding to support new CCS projects, technologies and solutions across the country.

The fourth phase of the SME-focused Energy Entrepreneurs’ Fund (EEF) will make £5m available to low-carbon energy projects in generation, efficiency and storage – with half of the money prioritised for CCS.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said: “As the nation that is leading the way in tackling climate change, it is important that we support small and medium sized businesses get their innovative energy projects off the ground.

“We will see the benefits in terms of increased energy security and affordable, low carbon electricity – Carbon Capture and Storage for example could be one of the most cost effective ways to decarbonise our future energy system.”

The Government says that CCS – the process of capturing CO2 from power stations and industrial facilities and storing the CO2 under the sea bed – ‘could enable us to decarbonise our future energy system in the most cost-effective way’. It argues that, without CCS in the UK, decarbonising the energy system would be up to £40bn more expensive per year.

Winning projects

This new EEF funding comes on top of £35m already awarded to innovation projects through the previous three phases of the scheme. Small and medium-sized (SME) companies developing ‘cutting-edge’, low-carbon energy projects will be able to bid for some of the money, which will be available in the 2015/16 Financial Year.

Today (27 November) also sees 19 projects being awarded a share of the £9m available through the third phase of the Fund. They include renewable generation technologies, efficient engines and vehicles, energy management and storage solutions.

Through EEF grants received so far, 70 businesses have been able to create or support an estimated 290 jobs and stimulate £26.6m of private sector investment. Private investors have provided a further £10.2m of funding to date.

Luke Nicholls

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