Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) welcomes the publication of the UK Government’s policy scoping document on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which considers the next steps towards a second phase of large-scale CCS projects in the UK.

 

This is a welcome move towards affirming the CCS demonstration projects at Peterhead and White Rose, and also encouraging a second wave of “Phase 2” projects that will contribute to the UK meeting its carbon targets in a cost-effective way.

Prof Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director said:

We are pleased to see that the UK Government's commitment to CCS remains undiminished.

We welcome the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) encouraging dialogue on the policies and funding, such as Contracts for Difference (CfD) for an electricity wholesale price, required to deliver the demonstration projects and provide a confident path towards a second phase of projects.

Energy-intensive industry in the UK, including petrochemicals, cement, paper and steel, can use CCS to provide the deep cuts in carbon emissions needed in a cost-effective global market, and maintain tens of thousands of high-value jobs. We are, therefore, pleased to see a commitment to further developing policy, and especially the incentives, needed to progress industrial CCS.

Using CO₂ captured from CCS to produce more North Sea oil is clearly a proposition for secure national energy supply with huge potential tax and employment value. SCCS work shows this can be delivered, and we will be providing more evidence to Government on that.

To respond to the critique by Westminster's Environment and Climate Change Committee, and to satisfy UK decarbonisation law, a series of CCS projects is unavoidable. Extended periods of evidence gathering and consultation could unintentionally result in a period of 'semi-moratorium' on the progress of CCS in the UK whilst the necessary policy frameworks evolve.

In particular, it remains essential that negotiations on developing operating support for CCS remain on track. There is a risk that premature competition against more mature technologies, in bidding for CfD within a Treasury budget envelope, will not pull through the emerging CCS industry. There is already clear evidence that CCS can become a more flexible, lower cost option than established low-carbon rivals.

The Government really needs to decide that CCS is nationally valuable enough to guarantee timescales on two phases of CCS development. That is one way to convince these next phase developers that the UK is not just the best global market in which to invest in CCS, but also a market where they can receive a sufficiently rapid reward.

OCCS is inviting views and evidence by 23 October 2014.

Download the full DECC Policy Scoping Document

 

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