A UK carbon storage project has received a funding boost of €300M (£238M) from the European Commission.
The White Rose project, based at Britain’s largest coal-fired power station, the Drax plant in Yorkshire, is one of Europe’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
The scheme involves the construction of a clean coal power plant with a large CO2 transport and storage network. Through CCS technology, the plant would capture around 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, and store 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year under the North Sea seabed. It would provide electricity to more than 630,000 homes.
The grant, which will support design and engineering development, has come from NER300, a European Commission programme which funds renewable energy technology and CCS projects. White Rose is the only CCS project in Europe to be allocated funds under the programme.
The UK Government signed a contract with White Rose in December 2013, to develop detailed engineering, planning and financial work ahead of a final investment decision.
The White Rose project is being developed by a consortium of Alstom, BOC, Drax and National Grid.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “The UK is at the forefront of developing carbon capture and storage, with excellent potential for storage in the North and Irish Seas, and the expertise in operating offshore to make it a reality.
“And as a world leader in the technology, as carbon capture and storage is commercialised Britain will be in first place to export this knowledge to a decarbonising global economy.”
Carbon capture and storage is a process of capturing millions of tonnes of CO2 from power stations and industrial facilities, and storing the CO2 offshore, deep under the sea bed. The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates that clean power plants with CCS could provide more than 20% of the UK’s electricity by 2050.