The potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) to help the UK play its part in tackling climate change has long been talked of. Instead of emissions from facilities such as power stations being pumped into the atmosphere, they could be taken offshore and injected into the voids left when oil and gas is extracted from fields. There is no significant technical barrier that would limit the CCS industry developing at scale in the UK A number of CCS plants have successfully been established in North America in recent years, but despite successive attempts the technology has so far failed to get off the ground in the UK on a large scale. The ending of the UK government’s CCS commercialisation competition as part of the 2015 spending review was seen as a major blow for the development of the sector. At the time, two projects – Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and White Rose in North Yorkshire – were competing under the competition, which offered a £1 billion grant for further developing the technology. The Peterhead project was being backed by Perth-based utility SSE and oil giant Shell, who argued that it had potential to bring huge value to the UK, both in immediate emissions reductions and developing knowledge for the benefit of a wider industry. While that project came to an abrupt end, a report last week looked to support a renewed push by scientists and industry to get CCS back on the agenda. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) study aimed to take stock of how the land lies now two years on from the ending of the CCS commercialisation competition. It found that the UK has more than enough potential CO2 storage sites to meet its needs out to 2050 and that a substantial number of these sites have already been fully or partially appraised.
Scotsman 20th June 2017 read more »