Systems & Policy: CAB1 - Cross-cutting Value of CCS

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Key facts about this core research project

Theme: Systems & Policy
Researchers: Dr Niall Mac Dowell, Prof Nilay Shah, Prof Goran Strbac, Prof Paul Dodds
Institution: Imperial College London, University College London
Start date: 2017

Why is this research needed?

How do we get the most out of CCS to meet our climate change targets and support the UK economy? We are exploring the social, technical, and economic barriers and advantages associated with the large-scale deployment of CCS in the UK’s energy system and providing insights as to how CCS can best be deployed. This work serves as an integrating effort across the three main themes of Capture, Storage, and Systems and Policy.

The aim is to quantify and qualify the role and value of CCS in the UK’s energy system by producing a UK energy system model, which draws together all outputs from the different Themes, linking demand for heat and power, the interaction between CCS technologies, energy markets, heating systems, CO2 transport infrastructure, and CO2 storage, subject to constraints around negative emissions technologies.

What is this research investigating?

We will quantify System Integration Costs (SIC) of CCS and other low carbon technologies under different future development scenarios, assess the competitiveness of CCS against other low carbon generation technologies and determine key factors/parameters that will drive SIC and enhance or limit the competitiveness of CCS. We will also quantify system benefits[1] and market uptake of CCS power plants with enhanced operating flexibility in different future system scenarios; assess the competitiveness (and synergies) of flexible CCS plant relative to alternative flexible options including energy storage, flexible CCGT/OCGT, demand side response, interconnection etc. We will seek to assess the dynamic interaction across these different measures, and understand systemic resilience, both to energy system evolution and unforeseen transients (i.e. sensitivity of each part of the chain).

One key goal is to provide inputs to whole-economy energy system models and to integrated assessment models. We are testing these inputs in UCL’s UK TIMES model to improve the representation of CCS. UK TIMES is the principal energy system model used by the UK Government to identify long-term decarbonisation pathways.

We have close links with the modelling groups at IIASA and MIT for further engagement.

[1] Heuberger, C.F., Staffell, I, Shah, N., Mac Dowell, N. 2016, Energy & Environ. Sci. 9 (8), 2497-2510

What does the research hope to achieve?

We will improve our understanding of the synergies across the entire chain and challenges of integration and explore the potential for learning from the first projects and how public policy should support the scaling up CCS deployment[1].

[1] Reiner, D.M. Nature Energy, 2016, 1, 15011.

Research updates

This research is ongoing, so research papers and datasets may not yet have all been published.

However, see below for recent updates and resources on this research project.

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Summer 2020 Web Series presentation

See the presentation from our Summer 2020 web series >>

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September 2018 Conference presentation

See the presentation from our September 2018 Conference >>