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Government piles more money into carbon capture scheme

Carbon emissions cropped

The government has announced a boost in funding for the low carbon sector, following a review and calls for additional money.  

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced it is increasing the funding for its innovation competition for carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) from £15M to £24M.  

In July, BEIS launched a £15M call for innovation ideas from companies looking to develop CCUS technology. In particular the governement is looking for projects that would reduce the cost of capturing carbon, or quicken the deployment of CCUS technology across the UK.  

The increase in funding follows a review of the competition conducted in January. The review found that due to the large number of high-quality applications the competition warranted additional funding. 

A BEIS spokesperson said: “Carbon capture usage and storage has the potential to make huge strides in our efforts to tackle climate change while kick-starting an entirely new cutting-edge industry in the UK.

“World-firsts like Drax’s project in Yorkshire will help us to realise our ambition to deliver the UK’s first CCUS project from the mid 2020s as we continue to seize the opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

In a world first, the massive 4,000MW Drax power plant in North Yorkshire started using bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology this week to capture up to 1t of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) every day.  

In November last yera, BEIS published its CCUS action plan that could see new CCUS schemes operational as soon as the mid 2020s and rolled out on a larger scale by 2030.

Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry said: “The UK is setting a world-leading ambition for developing and deploying carbon capture and storage technology to cut emissions.”

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) also welcomed the new announcement of the CCUS action plan, which falls in-line with the National Infrastructure Assessment.

“We’re pleased to see a commitment from Ministers to invest in carbon capture and storage, and to examine how this new technology could be applied to industrial sites and existing oil and gas infrastructure,” the spokesperson said.   

The push to reboot CCUS comes after the government cancelled a £1bn competition for new CCUS technology three years ago, costing the tax payer £100M.   

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