UKCCSC News 22 August 2008

Hi Folks,

It seems a while since it happened, but the climate camp at Kingsnorth generated numerous articles in the popular press many of which discussed CCS.

“A dangerous untruth” Guardian (1 Aug)

“E.ON’s claims for coal are deluded. We can’t afford the huge environmental cost of burning this fuel”

Written by a Royal Society Research Fellow at Leeds University

George Monbiot got his penny’s worth in (Guardian 5 Aug):

“The stakes could not be higher. Everything hinges on stopping coal”

Which not everybody agreed with, including Martin Rees,
President of the Royal Society (Guardian 7 Aug):

“It seems ridiculous to have to remind people that all technologies are unproven until they are proven. People said electricity could not work on a commercial scale.”

As previously noted, one of the problems with CCS seems to be that you can’t use it as no-one has yet used it.

2) “Climate change: High street banks face consumer boycott over investment in coal projects” Guardian (11 Aug)

Pretty self-explanatory, really.

3) Meanwhile, back at the farm, DEFRA’s chief scientist is telling us that the 2°C climate change target is going to be missed (Guardian 7 Aug):

“Climate change: Prepare for global temperature rise of 4C, warns top scientist”

4) Even the UK’s energy minister thinks there is cause for concern, he must be a Telegraph reader:

”Malcolm Wicks: ‘All is lost on global warming unless we find new clean coal technology’” (Telegraph 9 Aug)

Not least as the UK Government is clearly minded to give the thumbs-up to  the Kingsnorth power station “as long as it is carbon capture ready.” Is that a dodo I see before me? (apologies to Shakespeare and Lewis Carol).

5) “Energy: Drax profits halve as UK’s largest source of CO2 pays price for soaring cost of carbon credits”

This could be interpreted to show that the ETS might actually work, though CO2 is still too cheap to pay for CCS.

6) Ever told people that the economic value of CCS is potentially the same order  of magnitude as the oil industry? Here’s a few predictions to back the assertion up:

“The global market for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies will grow at a compound annual rate of 21.8% to reach $236 billion by 2012, according to a recent report by the market research firm BCC Research (Wellesley, MA). […]post-combustion as claiming the largest current market share, valued at nearly $51.5 billion in 2007 and growing to $107.0 billion by 2012. Pre-combustion technologies will grow from $34.6 billion in 2007 to $124.9 billion by 2012, while the market for combustion technologies will increase from $500 million to $2 billion over that period. BCC estimates that an investment of $15 trillion over the next 100 years will be necessary to build the infrastructure capable of capturing at least 10 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.“

Quoted in full as it comes from a news letter you probably can’t access:

7) “Vertus defeats capex barrier to carbon capture storage” CityWire (01 Aug)

“Rather than selling CCS plants, Vertus recovers its capital costs by charging utility companies a fee per ton of coal cleaned.”

8) Stuart Haszeldine’s been making up a few numbers too (CNN 7 Aug):

“Professor Haszeldine estimates that if a new power plant costs $1.5 billion to build, it’ll cost an extra $700,000 to fit the capture equipment on the first experimental plants.”

9) Want to know how the USA is going to save the World (and itself while it’s on with it?)

“Obama, McCain energy plans” CNN (5 Aug)

“McCain’s plan would commit $2 billion annually to advance clean coal technologies.”

“Obama has set the goal of creating five first-of-a-kind, coal-fired demonstration plants that would capture and store carbon dioxide emissions. He would also invest in technology that will allow for more coal use.”

There are lies, damn lies and pre-election promises…

10) Meanwhile, the current USA administration struggles on:

“US pledges $36 million to advance carbon capture” Energy Efficiency News

“The 15 projects will focus on five key areas: membranes, solvents, oxycombustion (flue gas purification and boiler development) and chemical looping”

The article is short but does name names:

11) Norway is also putting real cash into capture research:

“Norway launches €40 million carbon capture research programme”

“SINTEF, an independent research organisation, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Aker Clean Carbon have signed up to collaborate on the eight-year SOLVit programme. The first phase of the effort will receive €4.3 million from the Norwegian government’s CO2 management research programme.”

12) While closer to home a race is in the offing?  Telegraph (Aug 18)

“Irish energy group in carbon capture scheme”

“Providence Resources, the Irish oil and gas group headed by Tony O’Reilly, is launching a project that could lead to the first carbon capture scheme in the British Isles.”

13) OK, Lucky 13 slot (I’ll try not to upset anybody this time, sorry Andy). The Aussies are considering legislation for CCS, with the thorny issue of who has long-term liability:

“A House of Representatives Committee […] wants the government to assume legal liability if something goes wrong in the long-term.” (The Age 15 Aug)

“The proposal appears to be a win for oil, coal and power companies who want to use CCS technology.

The Greens have called foul.”

14) And finally, the UK Lib-Dems have released their Green vision of the future. I’ll not attempt to estimate the probability of this actually being enacted…

“Lib Dems outline plan for energy independence by 2050” businessGreen (21 Aug)

“It also proposes a moratorium on both new nuclear power stations and coal-fired power plants that do not feature carbon capture and storage systems”

That’s all folks


Consortium and Network