Why is this research needed?
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been identified as a key element of the UK’s options for reducing its CO2 emissions. With the potential to support decarbonisation across the whole energy system, including industry, heat and transport, and the prospect of delivering carbon dioxide removal (CDR) through coupling biomass energy with CCUS (BECCS), CCUS is critical to achieving the UK’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target and the global 1.5°C aspiration set out in the Paris Agreement. CCS deployment in the UK sits within its industrial decarbonisation strategy which has identified six industrial clusters, with the aim of bringing emissions within these clusters to net zero. Each cluster comprises a unique combination of high emitting manufacturing, energy and power facilities. Social License to Operate (SLO) depends on building trust between stakeholders and communities in support of decarbonising these industries in a way that is widely accepted as legitimate and credible. This work package is exploring the role of the UK industrial clusters in enabling carbon, capture, storage and use (CCUS) deployment, with the aim of understanding how activities within the UK CCUS clusters may contribute to the development of a SLO at regional and national scales.
What is this research investigating?
The cluster approach suggests a new framing for CCUS and a new way of thinking about how to secure investment in the technology. The CCUS Action Plan (BEIS, 2018) focuses on the deployment of CCUS for industrial applications, concentrating initially on industrial clusters where the co-location of high emitters offers opportunities for cost reductions through shared infrastructure. The focus of our work is two-fold. Firstly, we apply the concept of ‘protective spaces’ from sustainability transition management to the five industrial clusters to explore the extent to which this approach will effectively enable the wide-scale deployment of CCUS. Secondly, we explore the conditions necessary for establishing a social license to operate (SLO) for CCUS and the implications for the future within industry and for BECCS.
What does the research hope to achieve?
Working with key stakeholders, the aim is to better understand the issues and priorities in establishing CCUS within the UK energy system, and to help build the necessary foundations to establish a social license to operate CCS in the UK.