Players in the carbon capture industry have welcomed the launch today of the UK government’s ten-point Green Industrial Plan.
Unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the strategy includes a target to capture 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 and to establish four carbon capture clusters, with the first operating by the mid-2020s.
The government has also established bold new targets for clean hydrogen which will also be enabled by the carbon capture clusters.
“This is a really ambitious and serious commitment to carbon capture and hydrogen by the government and one we really welcome,” said Luke Warren, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, the trade body for the sector in the UK.
“By investing in carbon capture hubs in all the main industrial regions of the country, the government has today sent a strong signal ahead of COP26 that the UK is committed to delivering net zero and becoming a world leader in the key technologies that will be essential to achieve these goals.”
The four carbon capture clusters promised in the plan are likely to be in northeast and northwest England plus Scotland and Wales, and Warren said they would make “a significant contribution to supporting our industrial regions to reduce their emissions while also creating tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs in the new, low-carbon industries of the future”.
He said the CCS measure in the 10-point plan were “the start of a really exciting era for the development of carbon capture in the UK and there is an incredible amount of work that is needed to enable these targets to be reached”.
“However, the CCUS industry stands ready to work with government to deliver these targets and ensure that the UK does become a global leader in this crucial technology”.
The Global CCS Institute also welcomed the action plan and said that it showed that the UK is “serious about tackling industrial emissions”.
Its chief executive Brad Page said: “This latest move to develop CCS hubs and clusters across the UK is a significant step forward in mitigating emissions from the UK’s most energy intensive industrial sectors.
“Not only will these hubs significantly reduce emissions, it will be done through the shared use of CCS infrastructure and transport, helping to reduce the cost and risk to both industry and government.”
Economist Nicholas Stern, who is an advisor to the Global CCS Institute, said today’s plan “shows leadership in the UK around CCS, an absolutely key climate technology”.
“It’s very important for our own net-zero emissions target and it’s also important beyond the UK in terms of development of the technologies, which we are really going to need.”