CCS investment in Yorkshire and Humber makes perfect sense
Investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Yorkshire and Humber will deliver £1.3bn and secure 4,000 skilled jobs, according to a report.
The release will coincide with the run-up to the government's announcement of the winners of billions of pounds worth of funding for a CCS commercialisation programme.
To be announced by the end of October, the capital is partly funded by the European Union and two major projects in Yorkshire and Humber have made the shortlist.
The report was commissioned by CO2Sense, a not-for-profit low-carbon consultancy, on behalf of the Yorkshire and Humber CCS Cluster Steering group, comprised of National Grid, 2Co Energy, Drax, General Electric, Amec and Tata Steel.
To be presented to MPs in the House of Parliament tomorrow, the report claims that Yorkshire and Humber is the best strategic location in Europe to build a CCS cluster.
It argues that funding into the region will increase the area's economic output by 0.8% per year, attract up to £11bn in foreign investment and a secure a further 11,000 jobs by 2030.
The report claims that, economic benefits aside, there is "a compelling case for investment based on environmental considerations alone." Investing in CCS in Yorkshire and Humber, it argues, has the potential to cut the UK's carbon emissions by up to 19%. It also notes that the region is currently one of the highest carbon emitting in the UK.
Plans are currently in place for Siemens and David Brown to locate large factories in Yorkshire and Humber, and CO2sense say CCS would help to make the region an internationally recognised hub for innovation and leading low carbon technology.
In addition, the report claims that the investment will benefit traditional industries in the area which have been in decline since the 60's such as power, steel, chemicals and cement.
CO2Sense chairman Barry Dodd said:
"This report gives conclusive evidence for the business case for investing in CCS in Yorkshire and Humber. The opportunities for the supply chain - valued at up to £251million - are enormous, as are the potential for inward investment in the area. We want to see the government back these plans, which will bring so many opportunities for the UK's businesses."
The report has received support from a number of organisations including the think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research North, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Committee on Climate Change.
Welcoming the report Committee on Climate Change's David Kennedy said:
"CCS is one of the most important sets of technologies in meeting our 2050 target to reduce emissions by 80%. As well as having an important role for fossil fuel power generation, and with bio-energy in the longer-term, it is a crucial option for carbon-intensive sectors including iron and steel, chemicals and cement.
"In developing a CO2 network, a clustered approach makes sense. As well as limiting the costs of CO2 pipelines, it would also lower the risk of taking up CCS for existing emitters within the local area.
"Such an approach could help to enable currently higher-carbon industries to stay in the UK in a carbon-constrained world, and has the potential to attract low-carbon industries over time"