Whether you are interested in the decarbonisation of energy generation while optimising the security of supply or the decarbonisation of heavy industry, such as steel and cement manufacture, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) would seem to have a major role to play. It has been mooted for quite some time and has been the unwitting participant, with the benefit of hindsight, in some false starts, dashed hopes and missed opportunities. The situation is now changing for the better with a raft of new initiatives, reports and regulatory and political statements seeking to get the technological solutions off the ground.
The recent Energy Technologies Institute report shows that building a 10GW scale CCS sector by 2030 in the UK is feasible and affordable. Through the use of clusters and storage hubs, around 50m tonnes of CO2 can be captured from power stations and industry by this date.
Green Alliance has highlighted that CCS is the only technology available to decarbonise heavy industry to the extent needed to meet carbon targets and protect the UK from climate change. By piggy-backing industrial CCS clusters on existing CCS demonstration plants, creating competition between the different technologies and providing new financial support, the cost of CCS can be brought down to appropriate levels.
With 3 energy projects being funded by public money at the White Rose coal plant in Yorkshire, the Peterhead gas plant in Aberdeenshire and the Caledonia Clean Energy Project at Grangemouth, some momentum is now being gained.
Furthermore, research by NERC, amongst others, is helping to provide the scientific support needed to give the necessary comfort that carbon can be stored in an environmentally safe and effective way.
Biomass CHP with CCS is both highly energy efficient and carbon negative, providing base load power, full operational flexibility and climate change benefits.
Carbon is a valuable asset as well as an environmental pariah. There are a number of uses for it in the building, chemical and agricultural sectors. CCS is not all about trapping gas underground. After all, nature had a pretty good system going trapping and storing carbon in trees, peat, coal, oil and gas before man came along and unbalanced it all.
So what will it take to get these technologies operational finally, how can they be funded and what will a CCS sector look like in 2030? This event will highlight the current key barriers and how they might be overcome so that CCS can become a reality now. We will identify the different technologies, the issues and what will enable the CCS infrastructure to be put in place.