UKCCSC News 1 August 2008

Hi Folks,

The writing on the wall is now so large that even Telegraph readers can see it:

“MPs call for coal power stations to adopt carbon capture and storage” Telegraph (23 Jul)

“Until CCS is developed, all existing and new coal-fired power stations will be running unabated, with all the negative environmental impact this entails.

“We cannot emphasise strongly enough that the possibility of CCS should not be used as a fig leaf to give unabated coal-fired power stations an appearance of environmental acceptability.”

Well, I guess that’s clear enough.

2) But not for the UK Government, apparently:

“UK in ‘delusion’ over emissions” BBC (31 Jul)

2 new reports “show that instead of falling since the 1990s, UK greenhouse emissions have been growing in line with the economy.”

This article contains so many great quotes such as Government excuses for not publishing or using the new figures, that there isn’t room for them here. You’ll have to read the whole article. Here’s a taster:

“The SEI report involved a lot of computer modelling, so the UK government “would not want to be held to an international target on it”.

WWF said this was a very “convenient” position for the UK to take.”

3) A job opportunity for a high-flyer:

“[Durham] University has launched the Carbon Storage Research Group, which will be led by the newly-created position of Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Energy.”

“The new professorship is a three-way partnership between Durham University’s Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES), DONG Energy and Ikon Science. Durham hopes to attract a leading figure in the area of carbon capture and storage to take on the role.”

If you’ve not already been head-hunted then you’re probably not ‘leading’ enough?

4) “Clean up our energy”

The “country’s leading carbon storage experts” i.e. the senior figures from the UKCCSC (or perhaps the candidates for the job above?), wrote a letter to The Observer newspaper accusing the government of moving too slowly on the implementation of CCS. It generated several spin-off articles and a radio interview or 2.

 “Actions speak louder than a lot of government hot air” Guardian (27 Jul)

“UK scientists hit out at new coal station plans” Guardian (Jul 27)

Jon Gibbins was on Radio 4 Today programme on Monday  28th, at about 6.45am (yawn)  –  the archived links start at 06.50!

Malcolm Wicks (UK Energy Minister) was interviewed about energy markets and prices (5 minutes – CCS in last 1 minute). Wicks says “I think I share the frustration” (…of the letter writers). Frustration causes accidents…

5) Local news, if you chance to live in Edinburgh…“Local backing for carbon progress” BBC News (jul 24)

“Fife will be a “power-house” for modern energy generation if carbon capture plans go ahead, it has been claimed.

West Fife councillor William Walker has welcomed early indications from the UK Government that the Longannet power station proposal will proceed.”

6) Al Gore in the news again, no CCS (I guess he opposes it as too dirty still?) but this is a novel idea:

“Gore endorsed the implementation of a carbon tax in place of payroll taxes—“we should tax what we burn, not what we earn”—as the principal spur to redirecting the U.S. economy towards one that’s driven by renewable energy.” Climate Change Business Journal (25 Jul)

Irrelevant quote of the week:

“The Stone Age didn’t end because of a shortage of stones.”

7) “S Africa wants carbon capture at new coal-fired plants” Guardian (Jul 28)

“South Africa wants all new coal-fired power stations and coal-to-liquid plants to have mandatory facilities to capture carbon dioxide emissions, a government minister said on Monday.”

The link doesn’t add any detail.

8) Australasia: Australia: The Australian (Jul 28)

“FEDERAL Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has set a target of 2015-20 for a commercial breakthrough on low-emissions coal-fired power technology.

“We’ve got to have a target, not only in Australia but also (in) the global community, of making a real commercial breakthrough in terms of deployment of low-emissions coal technology in the time span 2015-2020,” Mr Ferguson said yesterday as he launched two low-emission coal initiatives.”,25197,24093588-5013871,00.html

9) This week’s sad science story also comes from down-under:

“Carbon storage is common sense. When you shear a sheep or when you fell a tree, the carbon does not disappear. It does get stored.”

Attributed to Australia’s Agriculture Minister Tony Burke. Oh dear.

“Australian carbon costs to hurt food exports-farmers” Reuters (Jul 29)

The article mentions that the Aussies intend to start carbon trading in 2010, as an internal market initially but with the possibility of linking to international efforts later.

That’s all Folks


Dr Mark Wilkinson
University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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