The report states that the market value of £35bn would be reached if Britain deployed 20 GW of CCS, which it says is “ambitious but achieveable”. Reaching this capacity would mean building between 15 and 25 CCS installations by 2030. Deploying 10 GW would result in a sector worth £15bn.
The report – The Economic Benefits of CCS in the UK, prepared jointly by the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – also states that each new CCS plant would generate between 1000-2500 jobs in construction, with a further 200-300 jobs in operation, maintenance and the associated supply chain.
It adds that without CCS, the cost of meeting the UK’s statutory target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 will rise by £30-40bn per year.
CCSA chief executive Luke Warren said: “This report definitively shows that the successful deployment of CCS has wider benefits for the UK economy. Respected international and UK organisations agree that without CCS in the mix, costs of meeting climate change targets will rise significantly.
He added that the UK was “one of the best places in the world to develop CCS – we have abundant storage capacity in the North Sea, a world-class oil and gas industry with the right skills for CCS, and existing infrastructure that can be re-used.”
“Now is the time for the UK to seize this opportunity, realise the significant benefits of CCS and become one of the global leaders in this vital technology.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “New CCS plants would create thousands of new jobs and safeguard many more in energy intensive industries such as steel, chemicals and cement. This is a great opportunity to re-invigorate our manufacturing sector and bring new R&D, design and construction jobs to areas like Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.”
The report is calling for the government to support a long-term vision for CCS in Britain. O’Grady said: “Without stronger government backing, the UK risks losing its competitive advantage and all the jobs and economic activity that CCS could bring.”