ETI puts CCS case forward once again

Heat networks for UK homes
Heat networks for UK homes

The Energy Technologies Institute is calling on the British government to facilitate carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) as the best means of meeting climate change targets.

Carbon capture and storage looked to have taken a grievous blow in 2015 when the government axed what was to be the UK‘s flagship CCS project at Peterhead.
The then Prime Minister David Cameron had said, “At the moment, it seems to me that with carbon capture and storage, while I completely believe in the idea, the technology is not working. CCS is à‚£1bn of capital expenditure, à‚£1bn that we could spend on flood defences, schools or the health service. Even after you’ve spent that à‚£1bn, that doesn’t give you CCS that is competitive in the market. The government hoped the costs would come down. But they did not.”

However the ETI wants to put it forward as a viable solution once more. The organisation claimed delaying the rollout of CCS technology could add around à‚£1.2bn a year to the cost of meeting the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets if it is not implemented soon and called for commercial plant to be built to help the industry take off in this country.

The ETI also said there is significant storage capacity off the British coast, with no technical barriers to prevent the use of CCS technology.

According to the group, no more than six hubs and 20 offshore stores would be needed to deploy CCS fully around the country.

“Although critics have claimed it is expensive, our analysis has shown that the costs and risks to the UK’s decarbonisation pathway could actually be reduced by bringing it forward, rather than delaying the deployment of CCS,” said ETI programme manager, Andrew Green.

“Early commitment by private sector investors will need similar commitments from the public sector to make investments attractive,” he added. “Therefore, long-term policy commitment from government is more important than early funding.

“The key to early cost reduction for CCS is through the deployment of investable projects rather than creating new capture technology platforms. The challenge CCS presently faces is a commercial one, not a technical one.”

CCS remains at the crossroads

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