UK to invest £20 million in carbon capture projects
UK Government has announced that it aims to have the country’s first carbon capture, utilisation and storage unit (CCUS) project fully operational by mid-2020.
The plan has been set out by energy and clean growth minister, Claire Perry and International Energy agency executive director Faith Birol.
The projects intend to tackle some of the biggest challenges that the country has when decarbonising the economy, contributing to industrial competitiveness and generating new economic opportunities.
By capturing carbon emissions from power stations and carbon-intensive industries like cement, chemicals, steel and oil refining, the project will either reuse the collected carbon or store it underground. If stored, it will most likely be in depleted North Sea fields.
The envisaged plans will see £20 million (€22.7 million) of the UK’s spending on the installation of CCUS technologies at industrial sites. A further £315 million (€356.7 million) of spending will go toward the decarbonising of such sites.
The initial detailed plans for the first large-scale CCUS facility are set to be published in 2019. It will include approaches that will help towards a longer term goal to roll out CCUS technology ‘at scale’. The government says that subject to the costs coming down sufficiently, it is committed to ensure that UK has the option to deploy CCUS at scale during the 2030’s.
Head of Biomass UK, who are part of the Renewable Energy Association, Benedict McAleenan said on the report, “The Government’s new Carbon Capture and Storage plan is a strong step forward. Combining Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, known as BECCS, paves the way to negative emissions, where we’ll actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere and lock it away. BECCS was recognised this month by the Committee on Climate Change as crucial if we’re going to avoid disastrous climate change in an affordable way.”
McAleenan continued, “UK companies are already leading the way – just this week Drax power station in North Yorkshire began Europe’s first ever BECCS pilot, capturing emissions from its biomass power boilers.”
Also a member of the Renewable Energy Association, Drax have contributed to the UK’s CCUS project by announcing its first Carbon Capture and Storage plant in Europe. The company claims that BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change. Claire Perry voiced her approval for the plant as she said that the project is a “major milestone developing cutting-edge technology to reduce emissions.”