"Major step forward" as CCS competition nears launch

2012-04-02 12:03 by Anja Reitz

The £1bn competition to accelerate large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK will be launched in the next few weeks along with an industry roadmap, Ed Davey announced yesterday.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said in a written ministerial statement the CCS Commercialisation Programme will begin during the parliamentary recess, which starts today and continues until April 16.

Meanwhile, he added the roadmap would set out the government's approach to deploying CCS in the UK, including a wider programme of policies.

Davey described the move as a "major step forward on our CCS agenda", which is focused on reducing the cost of CCS, so electricity generated can be cost-competitive with other forms of production in the 2020s, and create an UK industry estimated to be worth as much as £6.5bn a year.

"CCS has the potential to be one of the most cost-effective technologies for decarbonisation of the UK's power and industrial sectors, as well as a significant green growth opportunity," Davey said in the statement.

"I believe that we now have one of the best CCS packages offered by any country in the world and that the launch of the programme and roadmap will ensure that the UK continues to be a global leader on CCS."

The news was welcomed by Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the CCS Association (CCSA), who told BusinessGreen the industry wanted to see the government produce an "ambitious" plan to commercialise the technology.

The government aims to have four industrial-scale CCS demonstration projects in place by 2018, but has faced severe criticism over the length of time it has taken to confirm funding for the first project.

An initial competition launched in 2007 saw competitors successively drop up until only Scottish Power's project at Longannet, in Fife, remained. Then in October last year, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced negotiations with Scottish Power had collapsed.

However, the nascent industry is still going and around seven projects are likely to be in contention for the government funding. These include 2Co's Don Valley Power Project in Yorkshire and SSE's proposed post-combustion capture system in Peterhead, considered to be the front-runners, and a new project at Grangemouth backed by US-based Summit Power Group, National Grid and oil giant Petrofac.


source: businessgreen.com by Will Nichols

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