Government failure to decide on a carbon capture and storage (CCS) strategy ahead of next week’s European Commission deadline will be a “lost opportunity”, developers said this week.
CCS developer 2Co Energy said the UK must decide which projects should receive funding by the end of October or risk losing European funding worth up to €337M (£272M) per project.
“It would be a lost opportunity not to use Brussels funding,” said developer 2Co Energy non-executive director Mike Gibbons.
2Co Energy’s planned £3bn Don Valley power project at Stainforth, South Yorkshire was ranked top by the Commission when it published a long list of schemes considered for funding in July.
The commission will grant money to support a CCS project, but only if member states or private backers provide co-funding.
The commission wrote to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) earlier this month ordering it to name the projects it wants to receive funding.
“We are concerned,” said a senior European Commission official, explaining that the commission wrote to all relevant countries about confirming their support at the beginning of October.
“This is the moment of truth for the UK. They have to say which projects they are going to support. There are concerns that they might not be able to do it for the moment.”
Decc refused to be drawn on when it will select projects for the £1bn funding but said it will respond to the commission’s letter by the end of the month.
“We are fully aware of their processes and we’ve always made clear that we intend to align with the timetable,” said a Decc spokesman.