Regional CCS Cluster: Wales

 

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 June 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. 

 

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