Image: CCSA

A potential boom in green industrial jobs in the UK has been highlighted by a report exploring the potential of an increased deployment of carbon capture utilisation and storage technology.

Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) has published the report conducted by consultancy Afry and Cambridge Econometrics, which examines the economic impact of scaling-up carbon capture utilisation and storage in the 2020s.

The report, Economic Analysis of UK CCUS, explores the impact of rolling out CCUS in the 2020s under two scenarios; the UK government’s Ten Point Plan ambition to capture 10 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2/yr by 2030, and the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget recommendation to capture 22 Mt of CO2/yr by 2030 in their Balanced Net Zero Pathway.

Using Cambridge Econometrics’ E3ME model, the report looks at the economic benefits of deploying CCUS under these two scenarios.

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The Climate Change Committee (CCC) scenario could see 10,000 new jobs created by the mid-2020s in the UK’s industrial heartlands and give the UK early mover advantage in the global CCUS race, creating export opportunities and with this, a potential 50,000 additional jobs. This level of deployment will also help to safeguard more than 50,000 jobs in iron, steel, cement, chemicals and refining – that could otherwise be at risk.

The report also maps out the annual funding requirements to deploy CCUS at the necessary scale to deliver these two scenarios – which ranges from £1.2 billion to £2.6 billion.

The renewable power sector, and in particular offshore wind, benefited in the early 2010s from long term annual funding envelopes known as the Levy Control Framework, which is set at £8.6 billion for 2020/21.

This long term certainty drove deployment and cost reductions, so there is precedent for spending at this level to successfully develop new industries that will be crucial for the net zero transition.

Commenting on the report, Olivia Powis, CCSA’s Head of UK Office, said: “All 2030 net zero scenarios clearly show that CCUS needs to significantly scale up in the 2020s. To do that, the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review should introduce a long-term funding mechanism for CCUS, just like the Government successfully did ten years ago for the renewable power sector through the Levy Control Framework.

“The offshore wind boom we’ve seen since then has been one of the UK’s biggest green success stories.

“With similar levels of ambition and foresight today, the current Government could ensure we become a world leader in another green industry this decade, an industry that again plays to our geographical and industrial strengths.

“By implementing the recommendations in today’s report, the UK can demonstrate to the world its commitment to delivering net zero, ahead of hosting COP26 later this year”.

Download the report.