In a report published today (28 April), the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee, claimed Whitehall has failed to support the construction of large-scale CCS projects.

According to the report, after the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s first competition for support ended in 2011, it launched a second competition without being clear with the Treasury on the support that would be available to successful CCS projects.

The MPs found this and other issues contributed to the Treasury’s decision in 2015 to bring the competition to an early end by withdrawing the £1bn capital grant it had previously made available.

The committee concluded there is now a major gap in the government’s decarbonisation plans, and has urged the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to set out as soon as possible how this gap will be filled.

Welcoming the report, Luke Warren, the chief executive of the Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA), said developing this new technology could save the country billions of pounds and make the UK economy more competitive.

“It is clear that developing CCS is in the national interest, and whichever party is in power after the 8 June has a key early opportunity to act on the committee’s findings and release the Emissions Reduction Plan, setting out a fresh, ambitious approach to CCS that learns the lessons of the past,” said Warrren.

“The committee has highlighted the benefits of CCS to multiple sectors of the UK’s economy, including heavy industry, heat, transport and power, demonstrating that CCS is integral to a new sustainable Industrial Strategy.”

Jamie Hailstone

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

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