£4.2m investment powers development of UK's first CCS plant
The Scottish and UK Governments have announced a £4.2m investment in industrial research and feasibility studies for a 570MW Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plant in Scotland.
The investment - £2.5m from the Scottish Government and £1.7m from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) - will allow US based Summit Power Group to undertake development work ahead of its ultimate goal of designing and building its proposed Caledonia Clean Energy Project in Grangemouth Scotland.
The intended plant will combine coal gasification with CCS technologies in a single facility for the first time. The technology should capture 90% of CO2 emissions from generation which would then be pumped via existing on-shore and sub-sea pipelines for permanent storage 2km beneath the North Sea.
The development period is expected to last 18 months, after which time the findings will be shared across industry and academia, increasing understanding of how to develop and deploy CCS at commercial scale.
"Carbon Capture and Storage has the potential to be one of the most cost effective technologies for decarbonisation of the UK's power and industrial sectors, as well as those of economies worldwide," Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said.
"In the power sector, CCS can contribute significantly to the diversity and security of electricity supply, and also has a unique role to play in providing a continuing supply of flexible fossil fuel capacity that is able to respond to demand in the way that other low carbon technologies are not able to. The Scottish Government will work with the Summit Power Group with the aim to bring this cutting edge, innovative project to Scotland."
Carbon Capture and Storage Association chief executive Luke Warren added: "This announcement highlights the importance which both Governments place in the potential role of CCS in delivering the UK's future low carbon energy mix.
"The next Government must continue to build on the current momentum on CCS. Decisions taken in the lifetime of the next Parliament will be crucial in determining whether a UK CCS industry flourishes or whether we close the door on CCS altogether.
"What is needed is for the next Government to use policy to actually deliver CCS projects. Around the world many of our competitor economies are advancing this technology and we must not be left behind".
The UK Government released in-depth 'low-carbon roadmaps' for eight of the most polluting industries in the UK last week, highlighting the potential role for large-scale CCS in decarbonising these industries. This was backed up by a reportby the Green Alliance think-tank that stated that Government investment in large-scale CCS clusters would be essential for reducing emissions.