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Longannet pioneering carbon capture and storage project collapses

The UK’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Longannet in Scotland has been scrapped, after project negotiations broke down.

Energy secretary Chris Huhne has confirmed this afternoon that negotiations between the government and energy company ScottishPower, which runs the 2.GW Longannet power station, have failed. “A decision has been made not to proceed with Longannet but to pursue other projects with the £1bn pounds funding made available by the Government,” a statement by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said.

ScottishPower, the utility company which runs the Longannet power station, was the only remaining bidder in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) CCS competition which was launched to award up £1bn of funding to develop the technology at a commercial scale.

“£1bn is enough to demonstrate this vital new technology in the UK, but it’s got to be spent in the most effective way,” said secretary of state for energy and climate change Chris Huhne. “Despite everyone working extremely hard, we’ve not been able to reach a satisfactory deal for a project at Longannet at this time, so we’ve taken the decision to pursue alternative projects.”

Decc said the £1bn was still on offer and it would be expecting bids from England and Scotland when bidding re-opens. Decc said it will now focus on publishing the government’s long term vision for CCS deployment, an industry action plan and details of the selection process for further CCS projects.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond last week pressed Huhne for a “speedy resolution” to industry rumours that the project could collapse.

Readers' comments (4)

  • No doubt all the politicians who have been in power since Thatcher sold off the CEGB and other utilities will be blaming everyone else when we have the now unavoidable blackouts in a few years time.

    Billions going into wind power, virtually nothing into wave power, which is there all the time, and nuclear stalled by the green inky-winkies.

    We are on our way through third world, heading towards fourth world. The Lord help our grandchildren who will be inheriting this mess.

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  • Surprise, surprise! The CAGW fiasco is rapidly entering its final and terminal stage. Rumours regarding its recent death will soon not be greatly exaggerated - they'll be fact!Who is now available to do the full scale CCS development works and trials when all others previously involved have backed off the project? How long before this project starts,let alone ends, and where will the power now come in the meantime, complying with all the various new rules and regulations, and when? Even the Nuclear Suppliers are dwindling in numbers and walking away!

    Following the non-event of the "Summit" between Huhne/Cameron and the 6 major Energy Suppliers' CEO's which produced nothing of value other than demonstrating the market will is rigged and will not lead to costs saving - what do you expect when the Green subsidies distort and even destroy that market. There is no market incentive to develop and produce cheaper energy generation systems. The latest horrendous inflation figures, where ever increasing energy prices were confirmed as the major culprit, identify that we as professional engineers have colluded if not even directly assisted in inflicting fuel poverty and general endemic inflation increases - something which is alien to our Insitution's Charter and contrary to our history of driving the scientific and engineering efforts for more efficient and affordable products and processes which drove the Industrial Revolution. Our eminent Predecessors must be turning in their graves in embassment!

    Our politicians should be explaining to the country:

    1.Why hasn’t the DECC yet determined and reported what impact shale gas will likely have on UK gas prices, and when will development of known reserves in the North West be allowed to start ? NOTE an American, I think an Energy Economics Professor, on the TODAY programme advised this week that 20% of the USA’s gas now comes from shale gas and that as a result gas prices in the States have come down 50%. Why then didn’t the BGas CEO mention this – he said gas prices will rise regardless of what the UK does? Does he not want competition?
    2.What proportion of the current electricity unit charges are now due to the total CAGW/Green subsidies, FIT, Carbon Tax etc. etc., and what proportion of the increases in the last 4 years have been simply due to Foreign Exchange changes US$/£ in oil and gas costs?

    I'm not holding my breath!

    And please, no more talk of Wind Farms!

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  • Wow, you two are pretty upset, eh?

    "We are on our way through third world, heading towards fourth world." - Speaking as somebody who lives in the developing world, that statement is both clearly untrue and somewhat offensive.

    Why does everybody assume that we have to use increasing amounts of electricity and must therefore fund/build whatever is required to supply it? If we focussed properly on reducing energy demand then we wouldn't have nearly as much need for nuclear, wind, CCS or anything else. Whichever other route we choose inevitably leads to all these problems with governmental control and private investment.

    I know I'm being idealistic, but I would argue I'm only as idealistic in one direction as the previous two comments are fatalist in the other.

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    "Why does everybody assume that we have to use increasing amounts of electricity...?" Neither of the earlier comments said that!

    However, with the amount of generating plant due to be retired in the next ten years [most coal fired and nuclear plants] we need
    to replace base load electricity capacity - and do it quickly, in addition to whatever savings we can make by reducing demand - or we will all be sitting in the dark within that time frame. We also cannot go on wasting gas on generating electricity, which is what the "market" will continue to do with its short term perspectives.

    Of course we need government control of basic utilities - gas, electricity, water, etc. Otherwise the "market" will work only to maximise profit and if creating shortages of gas and electricity do that, what do you think the big six utility companies will do?

    "justposted" is not just idealistic, but naive!

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