Spring Conference 2022 ECR blog series #4 – highlights from Plenary session 1: UK ongoing capacity initiatives (blog 2)

As part of our Spring Conference ECR blog series, Xiaoya Zhu, University of Nottingham shares her experience of Plenary session 1: UK ongoing capacity initiatives

Plenary session 1: UK ongoing capacity initiatives

The UKCCSRC Spring Conference focusing on building capacity for carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment was held successfully on 20-21 April 2022 in Sheffield. Delegates from academia, industry and governmental departments from the UK came together to share their research and experiences on their ongoing project and developed plans.

Joanna Watt, EPSRC

At the beginning of the session, on behalf of Joanna M Watt, Senior Portfolio Manager at EPSRC,  EPSRC’s Strategic priorities were presented and included:

  • the physical and mathematical sciences powerhouse – enabling curiosity-driven discovery with boundless potential
  • frontiers in engineering, manufacturing and technology – unleashing our productivity potential
  • digital futures – the future of communications, computing and the internet
  • engineering net zero – decarbonising our economy and society, creating an alternative energy future and developing truly circular economies
  • artificial intelligence, digitisation and data: driving value and security – powering transformative change and the next industrial revolution
  • transforming health and healthcare – improving quality of life through innovative technological solutions
  • ensuring an effective ecosystem – a globally attractive engineering and physical sciences research and innovation system.

Guided by these strategic priorities, CCUS (e.g. IDRIC, UKRI, SUPERGEN etc.) has already invested in a series of initiatives to date, involving over a hundred areas of research, with portfolio of £19.8m in research grants and £8.7m in training grants in 2022.

Jen Roberts, UKCCSRC

Jen Roberts (Chancellor’s Fellow in Energy. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde) presented the UK CCS research community network+ (April 2022-September 2025). She reviewed the various outcomes that UKCCSRC has generated using the £7.5M funding since 2017, while looking ahead to the upcoming activities from 2022-2025 with the funding of £2.2M.

Mercedes Maroto-Valer, IDRIC

Prof Maroto-Valer (FRSE, FIChemE, FRSC, FRSA, FEI), who is Champion and Director and is leading the development of the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).She pointed out that, funded by £210M, IDRIC has undertaken more than 40 innovation and research projects in 2021, which involve 9 multidisciplinary integrated programmes (MIPs), giving a target on the challenge and pathway of industrial decarbonisation.

Ruth Herbert, CCSA

At the end of plenary session, Ruth Herbert, as Chief Executive officer of Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), gave a speech about CCUS Delivery Plan by 2035. Ruth summarised 10 recommendations and approaches from the CCUS deployment plan to ensure that 50 MtCO2/yr can be stored by 2035 at a reduced deployment cost. Specifically, these 10 urgent actions can be concluded as attractive investment framework, timely cluster delivery, healthy supply chain & skills, mature CO2 transport networks, sufficient storage, and supportive public.