A project in north-west England to capture carbon dioxide from a gas plant and use it to make sodium bicarbonate for pharmaceuticals is the kind of “essential” scheme Britain needs if it wants to end its contribution to global warming, Chris Skidmore, UK clean growth minister, said when he visited the site last week. Tata Chemicals Europe’s scheme in Cheshire will capture 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from 2021, making it the biggest scheme of its kind in the country. But on a global scale it is very small and experts say initiatives will have to be much more ambitious if the UK is to hit its newly adopted net zero emissions target by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change, a UK government advisory body, said there were 43 large projects operating or under development elsewhere and that deployment of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) technology must progress with “far greater urgency”. Large projects typically capture at least 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Equally, MPs on the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee have criticised Britain’s “turbulent” history and “slow progress” in deploying the technology. The government last year produced an action plan to deliver the first large-scale CCUS facility in the UK from the mid-2020s, which will give it the option to employ the technology “at scale” during the 2030s. Critics say this is not ambitious enough. The MPs committee recommended “at least” three large projects are developed by 2025.
FT 1st July 2019 read more »