UKCCSC News January 2009

Hi Folks,

I guess I should have sent this out before the Xmas break, but who was going to read it after the 24th? Some of the news is a bit old but still important…

The big news is (was?) the climate talks held in Poland on 11 – 12 December. There are a practically unlimited press items concerning this, but perhaps the best person to summarise the relevant outcome is the UK PM, Gordon Brown:

“Perhaps most significant of all, Europe agreed to make around nine billion Euros immediately available to support the commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage.”

Speech given by the Prime Minister at the London Energy Conference, 19 December 2008

Brown’s also talked about CCS again:

“Gordon Brown unveils economic measures to prepare UK for downturn” Guardian, Dec 19

“He pledged more government support for nuclear power, carbon capture technology, the digital economy, transport”

2) On the subject of the UK CCS Competition,

“RWE npower buys into UK carbon capture competition” NewEnergyFocus, 16 Dec

“The company, which was not included in a shortlist of three consortia for the government’s competition earlier this year, has bought a 75% stake in the Peel Energy group that was shortlisted.”§ion=Carbon

3) Sadly (but not unexpectedly, apparently) CCS hasn’t been accepted into the CDM.

“UN blocks carbon capture’s entry to CDM offset scheme” BusinessGreen 11 Dec

“They argued that allowing governments in the developed world to fund such projects through the CDM would effectively make emerging economies a testing ground for systems that are not yet guaranteed to work on a large scale.”

That just makes it even more important to get CCS working here, ASAP.

4) I’m not sure if what happened to this proposal:

“Sarkozy confident about EU climate ‘solidarity’ deal” EurActiv (8 Dec)

“Sarkozy, who holds the EU’s rotating six-month presidency, will travel to London today (8 December) to push for an agreement on a “solidarity fund” for Eastern and Central European states, whose economies are expected to suffer the most from the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

5) The biggest ever investment in training the scientists and engineers Britain needs for its future was announced 5 December by the EPSRC. Included was the creation of 7 new centres, one of which is:

Advancing carbon capture and clean coal technologies Centre: Efficient Power from Fossil Energy and Carbon Capture Technologies (University of Nottingham)

There will be some disappointed bunnies in UKCCSC I think, who bid for this themselves.

6) A potentially useful report comparing different energy technologies probably won’t get a fair hearing as it can be reported using headlines such as:

“The carbon footprint of nuclear war” Guardian (2 Jan)

You can read the report yourself if you really want to know, but the relevant bit is:

“Either way, nuclear doesn’t come out as badly as first- or second-generation biofuels. These, the author remarks, are “ranked lowest overall and with respect to climate, air pollution, land use, wildlife damage, and chemical waste,” and may actually “worsen climate and air pollution” relative to fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage also gets a thumbs down.”

7) Interesting words from Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI (businessGreen, 2 Jan 09):

“Spending on low carbon research and development from the government needs to equal that of defence and we need to work harder to develop Carbon Capture and Storage. We also need more science GCSE’s and engineering careers.”

8) This may not be the longest letter ever but it’s long enough. It’s from James and Anniek Hansen, the former being head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

“A letter to Obama” (Guardian, 1 Jan)

A 3-point plan includes:

“Moratorium and phase-out of coal plants that do not capture and store CO2

If the whole thing is a bit much, try the digest at:

The above letter criticises a carbon cap and trade mechanism – the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – which got under way on 1st January 2009:

“The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states will cap and then reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.”

That’s all Folks, Happy New Year