Today marks the launch of the long anticipated BEIS CCUS Cost Challenge Task Force Report, “Delivering Clean Growth”. The Cost Challenge Taskforce (CCTF) was initiated by Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, in January this year, with several members of the UK CCS Research Centre helping to shape the report.
The report presents a template for introducing a carbon dioxide removal and storage system, across the country that can enable net-zero, or even net-negative greenhouse gas emissions. This is achieved by interlinked CCUS ‘clusters’ in all of the main industrial regions across the UK that can also export low-carbon electricity, hydrogen and other products for use throughout the economy. The net-negative emissions from plants burning biomass with carbon capture and storage, or capturing CO2 directly from the air for storage, can also offset hard-to-decarbonise activities, such as agriculture.
A model for achieving deep decarbonisation that can also be adapted for use across the world has been mapped out in the report. That the UK can still lead in tackling climate change at a time when there are many other political pressures shows the high level of commitment across all levels of government, as well as the value of having long-term legally binding emissions targets and the Committee on Climate Change to monitor them. If the UK is able to progress the concepts in this report into practice, it will make a very material contribution to the chances of the world avoiding dangerous climate change.
UKCCSRC members and associates, working with the Task Force, have made significant evidential contributions to the report, and are looking forward to helping with its successful deployment. It is essential that all stages in this national enterprise are based on the best knowledge available. Learning must be shared, and opportunities to develop people with new skills and expertise should not be missed. An open-access approach, rather than the previous closed competitions, will give a much better return to energy consumers and taxpayers in terms of cost reductions for a given initial investment.
In the report, Claire Perry calls for “bright minds” to work together to make CCUS happen. In this vein, the UKCCSRC has today opened registrations for an event “Supporting CCUS Implementation through Innovation”. The event will focus on how the UKCCSRC membership of academics, industry and other stakeholders, can contribute to delivering the aspirations outlined in the Cost Challenge Task Force report.