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New report highlights lessons from cancelled carbon capture schemes

carbon capture and storage

A Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) report has found that carbon capture sites at Drax and Peterhead were ready for development before cancellation, and has identified no discernable appetite for similar projects from UK developers.

When the Government cancelled the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition in November 2015 it left two power plant projects at Drax and Peterhead high and dry.

The new report from the CCSA released today (29 June) details lessons to be learned from the two projects.

The White Rose site at Drax was designed as an extension to the existing power plant facilities, while the Peterhead site aimed to store captured carbon offshore using the Goldeneye natural gas platform. 

Both were ready for further development when the CCS Competition ended. 

According to the report, government policy changes on CCS over the past 10 years have reduced developer interest in carbon capture projects. 

It also describes support from public spending as “fundamental” to CCS projects if developer interest is to be encouraged. 

Transport and storage infrastructure for captured carbon is also problematic, according to the report.

“There is a mismatch between the size of cost-effective offshore T&S [transport and storage] infrastructure and the expected volume of CO2 captured from the first single generation and capture projects,” stated the report.

Speaking at a joint workshop being held by the CCSA and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, CCSA chief executive Luke Warren said: “The Government has confirmed its intention to develop a new approach to CCS, and we look forward to working with them to build on these lessons and ensure the successful delivery of CCS.”

“Our analysis shows that the cost of decarbonisation doubles when CCS is not employed in the UK’s future energy system. This cost could increase further still should new nuclear developments be seriously delayed. The scrapping of the Commercialisation Programme does not change this,” commented Den Gammer, the Energy Technologies Institute’s CCS strategy manager.

“There are no technical barriers to UK offshore CO2 storage, CCS has a key role to play in decarbonising the power sector and with a strong history in oil, gas and power skills, the UK is well placed to lead the world in the development of CCS.”

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