The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) announced today, that it has been awarded £6.1M by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to continue its work for the next five years. The goal for this next phase of the UKCCSRC is to ensure that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will play an effective role in reducing net CO2 emissions while securing affordable and controllable electricity supplies, low carbon heat and competitive industries for the UK.
“Celia Yeung, of the EPSRC, said “The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme recognises the significance of carbon capture and storage research within the energy landscape. The previous Centre has taken great strides over the last few years and has done well strengthening relationships within the carbon capture and storage community, engaging with industrial stakeholders and policy makers, and has pursued high quality, novel research within the research area. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are fully supportive of carbon capture and storage research and has high hopes for the new Centre to continue developing and delivering an effective, high impact strategy for the UK.”
The Centre’s core activities are delivered by six of the UK’s leading CCS institutions with complementary expertise: the British Geological Survey, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Sheffield. Investigators from other partner institutions bring specialist knowledge to the team: Cardiff University, Cranfield University, the University of Manchester, the University of Strathclyde and University College London.
Jon Gibbins, UKCCSRC Director, welcomed the Research Council’s continued funding for carbon capture and storage, “CCS is an area where the UK has a long-term, strategic advantage and the new support will help make sure that our industries and consumers are able to see the benefits of this in the 2020s”.
Stuart Haszeldine, UKCCSRC Deputy Director for Storage, said, “Strategic research investment by the EPSRC in direct reduction of carbon emissions, is welcome and essential. This will continue the development of geological carbon storage for the UK, where uniquely accessible natural assets are low in cost and high in reliability. Removing carbon emissions from industry, heat, and transport will future-proof the UK economy against clean air taxes, will improve near-term health, and long-term competitiveness. Carbon management is an essential component of the sustainable energy transition, which cannot be achieved by renewables alone.”
The UKCCSRC will continue to provide a focal point for coordinating national and international CCS research and to help give academic researchers access to the world-leading UKCCSRC PACT experimental facilities. In addition to its core research programme the centre will make £1.5M of funding available through open calls over the course of the grant for emerging research topics.
David Reiner, UKCCSRC Deputy Director for Systems & Policy, added, ”One of the innovations of the new centre is that we will tackle technical, economic and social questions associated with bioenergy plus CCS, a negative emissions technology (NET), which the last major international climate report (IPCC 5th Assessment Report) identifies as a leading contender in meeting ambitious climate targets to keep global temperatures well below 2ºC.”
Paul Fennell, UKCCSRC Deputy Director for Capture commented, “CCS is a key technology for both industry and power generation and I look forward to working on the critical challenges associated with developing CCS for the future. The Centre’s research programme will enable us to push the boundaries of UK and global research forwards.”
Over 250 early career researchers actively participate in the UKCCSRC’s research and wider activities. Colin Snape, UKCCSRC ECR Coordinator, said, “The centre will put the UK at the forefront of the international research effort to implement CCS across power generation and industry with the highest efficiency possible. It will also ensure that UK has a flow of highly talented early career researchers to drive forward innovation in CCS to meet this goal."