Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s

Since early 2016 the UKCCSRC has been holding a series of regional and national meetings attended by private sector companies, public sector bodies and UK researchers to identify and address actions that need to be taken in order to deliver a CCS based decarbonisation option for the UK.

The Case for CCS

  • CCS is required or the cost of decarbonizing the UK economy will ramp up to an additional 1-2% of GDP annually by 2050
  • CCS brings wider benefits than are immediately apparent, e.g. clean air, jobs, low-cost dispatchable electricity
  • The need for anthropogenic CO2 sinks has been confirmed at COP21 (Paris)
  • CCS is the only technology that puts quantities of CO2 into permanent storage that are significant in climate change terms
  • In order to have the CCS option available in the UK at the time and scale required it is necessary to start the deployment process now
  • CCS acts as insurance against new nuclear plants not being delivered by giving a decarbonisation option for the gas plants that would replace this nuclear capacity

A New Start

“Starting afresh what would need to be done in order to deliver the level of CCS defined in the 5th Carbon Budget by the CCC?” 

The initiative began with a nationally focused workshop to determine what needs to be done to to enable CCS based decarbonisation for the UK in line with recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change (i.e. 4-7GW of power CCS plus ~3MtCO2/yr of industry CCS by 2030).

The workshop identified interesting challenges to overcome (such as the way UK carbon accounting rules mean that ‘officially’ reported UK emissions will be unchanged by power sector decarbonisation, no matter how deep) and some potential solutions (such as the similarity between the challenge of transport and storage infrastructure funding and offshore grid infrastructure funding). It’s important these are followed up as CCS remains the only technology for creating large scale anthropogenic CO2 sinks and is critical to affordable, low carbon and secure supplies of electricity in the UK, as well as to decarbonisation in industry and other sectors.

The UKCCSRC produced this report following the workshop that outlines the main discussion points, conclusions and reccommendations.

Following the initial report six regional meetings have been held which address both region specific and “typical cluster” issues. Follow the links below to see outputs from the regional meetings. 

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North East England

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North West England

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Scotland

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South East England

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Yorkshire and Humber

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Wales

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s: an overview of possible North East developments

Meeting Date: 9 November 2016

The North East is potentially a major area for UK CCS deployment, with excellent CCS studies for Teesside but currently less information available on what other deployment might now look like. This workshop will bring stakeholders together to discuss possible elements for CCS deployment across the NE, and links with other regions, with a time horizon for investment in the 2020s and beyond to 2050.

CCS is a key technical response to control energy costs and ensure security of supply under future requirements for reducing, and eventually achieving net zero, global GHG emissions. Shaping current infrastructure planning to facilitate CCS is an effective way to future-proof major investments in energy-intensive assets, including power plants, industry and gas supplies.

View the Meeting Agenda
Read the Meeting Report

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s: an overview of possible North West developments

Meeting Date: 22 June 2016

The North West is potentially a major area for UK CCS deployment but currently there is limited information available on what that deployment might now look like. This workshop will bring stakeholders together to discuss possible elements in a future regional CCS cluster, with a time horizon for investment in the 2020s and beyond. CCS is a key technical response to control energy costs and ensure security of supply under future requirements for reducing, and eventually achieving net zero, global GHG emissions. Shaping current infrastructure planning to facilitate CCS is an effective way to future-proof major investments in energyintensive assets, including power plants, industry and gas supplies.

View the Meeting Agenda
Read the Meeting Report

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s: Scotland and Teesside clusters meeting: New value from the North Sea; new life for heavy industries

Meeting Date: 15 September 2016

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industry account for nearly a fifth of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions; carbon capture and storage (CCS) is currently the only option for achieving deep reductions from some industries, such as petrochemicals, cement, and refining. Major industrial clusters at Teesside and Grangemouth each produce large volumes of CO2. With CO2 capture technology in place, each cluster could handle several million tonnes of CO2 a year, avoiding emissions and helping industry achieve decarbonisation targets. Availability of CCS infrastructure enables large-scale, low-carbon hydrogen supply allowing decarbonisation of ‘hard to treat’ transport and heat sectors. A coordinated approach and shared infrastructure for CO2 transport to storage in well-characterised sites in the North Sea can help to deliver CCS cost-effectively.

Several large-scale CCS demonstration projects have been evaluated in Scotland. Numerous studies into the economic benefits of CCS clusters have pointed to cost efficiency through shared infrastructure and the conversion of existing equipment. The Teesside Collective project has developed a blueprint for industrial CCS, including technical feasibility studies, a business case and funding models. Industrial clusters in Scotland and north east England can benefit from access to a significant CO2 storage asset beneath the Central North Sea (CNS). There is also the potential for developing CO2 utilisation markets or CO2-enhanced oil recovery. A CCS infrastructure developed for these clusters will create a North Sea hub, which can serve regional, national and European CO2 storage needs and enable a new offshore industry in the longer term. Against this background, our meeting of key stakeholders and invited participants will briefly review previous activity and then focus on the next steps needed to progress opportunities in the short- to mid-term.

View the Meeting Agenda
View the Meeting Presentations

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s: supporting a carbon neutral south east

Meeting Date: 23 January 2017

Achieving 2050 CO2 emission targets and subsequently net zero emissions will be challenging without CCS. So shaping current infrastructure planning to facilitate CCS is an effective way to future-proof major investments in energy-intensive assets, including heating and power systems in cities, utility power plants, industry, transport and gas and electricity supply networks.

The SE has significant CO2 emissions from a range of sources. A shared CCS pipeline and offshore CO2 storage infrastructure for the power sector, energy intensive industry and other possible uses such as hydrogen production is feasible from the Thames Estuary area. Pipelines are the only likely option if CCS is to be deployed at significant scale in the UK (order 10 MtCO2/yr and above), but in the short term and for isolated sources CO2 shipping from and to the SE may also be an option. While the timescale for deployment depends ultimately on international policy developments planning for CCS is an essential part of a future-proofing strategy for the SE.

View the Meeting Agenda
Read the Meeting Presentations

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s – an overview of possible Yorkshire/Humber/Teesside development

Meeting Date: 15 April 2016

Yorkshire/Humberside is potentially a major area for UK CCS deployment but currently there is less information available on what that deployment might now look like.  This workshop will bring stakeholders together to discuss possible elements in a future regional CCS cluster.

View the Meeting Agenda
Read the Meeting Report

Delivering Cost Effective CCS in the 2020s: an overview of possible developments in Wales and areas linked to Welsh CCS activities via shipping

Meeting Date: 22 July 2016

CCS is a key technical response to control energy costs and ensure security of supply under future requirements for reducing, and eventually achieving net zero, global GHG emissions. Shaping current infrastructure planning to facilitate CCS is an effective way to future-proof major investments in energyintensive assets, including power plants, industry and gas supplies.

Wales has an important energy intensive industry sector, existing large gas and coal (and biomass) power plants and a major LNG import terminal. CCS is therefore potentially important for achieving very low CO2 emission levels in Wales, as in the rest of the UK, but historically CCS in Wales has received relatively little attention due to lack of an obvious route for a pipeline-based CO2 transport and storage system, particularly from the South Wales region where a significant fraction of the large emission sources are located. More recently, however, there has been a growing awareness that CCS will need to be implemented using shipping and/or other more flexible transport options for regions with geographically-isolated energy intensive industries, the prime current example being Norway (e.g. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/norwayexamines-feasibility-of-co2-shipping).

In many areas of the UK a shared CCS pipeline and offshore CO2 storage infrastructure for the power sector, energy intensive industry and other possible uses such as hydrogen production would have significant advantages over CO2 shipping. Pipelines are the only likely option if CCS is to be deployed at significant scale in the UK (order 100 MtCO2/yr total), but CO2 handling terminals attached to such pipeline ‘clusters’ would be effective destinations for CO2 shipped from other areas and perhaps would also be used to provide temporary CO2 export capability during fault periods or when an overcapacity occurred. In Wales, with the possible exception of a region in North Wales which could link to a North West UK pipeline cluster storing CO2 in the Irish Sea, CCS based on CO2 shipping is, however, the only way to achieve deep emission cuts and net zero emissions. The options for CO2 shipping from Wales must therefore be understood and developed, and also be included in current planning, if CCS is to be part of a future-proofing strategy for Wales.

View the Meeting Agenda
Read the Meeting Report