UKCCSC News 6 February 2009

Hi Folks,

It’s big-money time again, with each of the EU, Canada and the USA announcing packages to simulate economic growth, all with a strong energy component. The EU investment in energy stirred predictable controversy:

“The European commission today proposed earmarking €1.25bn to kick-start carbon capture and storage (CCS) at 11 coal-fired plants across Europe, including four in Britain.

The four British power stations – the controversial Kingsnorth plant in Kent, Longannet in Fife, Tilbury in Essex and Hatfield in Yorkshire – would share €250m under the two-year scheme.” Climate Ark (28 Jan)

Oor Haszeldine liked it, the Green party didn’t. Surprise.

2) USA: “$819 Billion Stimulus Bill Gives Renewables a Boost” MIT Technology Review (29 Jan)

3) “Canada’s Stimulus Targets Carbon Capture and Nuclear Power” MIT Technology Review (29 Jan)

“Canada’s Conservative government unveiled a budget yesterday with an energy balance distinctly different from that contemplated by President Obama in his economic stimulus package. “Green Causes Left Out of Budget””

CCS and nuclear get the cash in this plan by the ruling Conservative party.

4) Sir Nicholas Stern has been stirring again, with 3 key recommendations:

“CCS is crucial for countries with fast-expanding economies, such as India and China, which currently rely on coal-fired power stations for growth. We need about 30 CCS demonstration projects, on a commercial scale, carried out in developed and developing countries over the next 10 years. This technology needs to spread through international and public-private collaborations.”

Stern’s based in the Grantham Institute (which is in Ascot apparently), named after the birthplace of Britain’s most famous champion of the free market? Obviously The Market will provide, just like it does for banking?

5) “Exclusive: UK government poised to set out CCS rules” (Business Green)

6) The US-based consultancy company McKinsey and Co. have released a report which puts the cost of limiting global temperatures to 2 deg C as between 200 and 350 B Euros. CCS is mentioned as a required technology, along with every other green technology you’ve ever heard of.

“Pathways to a low-carbon economy” at:

7) An interesting article on a technology being sold as a direct alternative to geological CCS:

“Calera Corp., claims to have found a way for cement production to absorb more carbon dioxide than it emits, acting as a vehicle for carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS.”

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla … “promoted his investment at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on Thursday as a better CCS strategy than geological storage.” WorldWatch Institute (Jan 26)

8) For most of you, Scottish politics probably rate somewhere close to those of Uzbekistan for general interest. Alex Salmond you probably recall as the smiling face of the ‘best small country in the world’, otherwise known as it’s First Minister:

“Man from Nasa slams Salmond coal plan as ‘sham’” (Scotsman, 2 Feb)

The Man from NASA (acronyms were once spelled with UPPER CASE letters?) is Dr James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Earth Institute.

Basically, Salmond is a fan of ‘Capture Ready’ and Hansen isn’t. You may recall Hansen as a witness for 6 Greenpeace activists who were accused of vandalising the Kingsnorth powerstation last year.

The letter itself is probably better reading at:

9) Meanwhile, in Spain (best large country in Iberia?) the national government is apparently going to pay a private oil company to bury some of its CO2 as part of a scheme to squeeze extra oil from a largely-depleted oil field, a process known as Enhance Oil Recovery:

“AIM-listed Leni Gas & Oil is close to making a breakthrough on a carbon dioxide storage scheme that could help to boost output at the Ayoluengo oilfield in Spain.” Upstreamonline (2 Feb)

This surely gets a prize for tactlessness?

“”Carbon capture is a bonus because the company is being paid to do something it would have had to do anyway,” a company spokesman said.”

I think this comes from a free newsletter from Upstream, which you’ll have to subscribe to. Hard luck.

10) 2nd prize for tactlessness goes to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, ho told the developing world they have to do more to limit emissions:

“China and India have also taken steps. But that is not enough, they have to do more.” Guardian (5 Feb)

Which drew a response as cunning as a bag of ferrets:

“The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has said that India would be willing to undertake to keep its per capita emissions below those of industrialised countries…”

Which in reality means agreeing to do nothing for the foreseeable future!

11) Back in the UK:

“The UK government has granted consent for three new gas fired power stations with a combined capacity of 3.92 GW to be constructed at Pembroke, King’s Lynn and Hatfield.” PowerEngineering (5 Feb)

Remember the thorny issue of ‘what is capture ready’?

“Each power station agreed during the planning process that they will have the necessary land available to retrofit a carbon capture and storage plant for future use.”

So now we know.

That’s all Folks


Consortium and Network