MPs have urged the government to create a fresh strategy within months for developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
The cross-party Energy and Climate Change Committee said ministers should publish a plan by the summer.
The committee published a report this week following cancellation late last year of a £1bn competition designed to get CCS working on a commercial scale.
“The lack of engagement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) prior to and since the announcement has damaged the government’s relationship with the very stakeholders it will depend upon to develop CCS technologies,” said the report.
“Decc must now work to mend bridges and proactively engage with industry in a consultative way to discuss the next steps for businesses involved with the development of CCS in the UK, whether through workshops, meetings or consultations.”
The MPs said such engagement should begin immediately, with publication by summer 2016.
“Given initial costs and lead time for projects, if we do not commit to CCS now, we may have to accept that it will not be part of the future UK energy policy,” warned the report.
The Carbon Capture and Storage Association backed the report.
Chief executive Luke Warren said: “The Spending Review decision to withdraw funding for CCS has had an extremely negative impact on the industry.
“What may have seemed like a good short-term saving risks loading significant costs onto the UK economy in the longer-term as the cost of meeting decarbonisation goals will increase substantially if CCS is not available.
“We look forward to working with the government to deliver a successful CCS strategy that can ensure the decarbonisation of the UK’s power sector at least cost, enable a long-term sustainable future for vital energy intensive industries, and retain the opportunity to maximise our North Sea oil and gas assets”.
A group of bodies including engineering representatives last month wrote to prime minister David Cameron demanding he set out his strategy for supporting CCS.