UK Carbon Capture and Storage, Where Is It?

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Carbon capture and storage, to capture CO2 from power plants and big industry, remains much publicised, much talked about as an essential action against climate change, and intensively analysed and costed. However only four governments have had the courage to provide actual or allocated commercial funding to enable the first integrated projects to occur. The UK has experimented with several proposed funding mechanisms, and with several proposed designs for full-scale projects. However perceived expense remains a persistent blockage from the government perspective. And from the company perspective, perceived risk remains the critical disincentive. The UK has abundant storage which is ready to develop. CCS on gas (or maybe coal) fuelled plant is seen as the ideal compliment to variable wind power, and so is critical to the UK's future electricity delivery planning. What many analysts miss is that CO2 storage will also be vital to any negative emissions strategy - either co-firing with biomass, or direct capture form the air - both need to bury CO2. How will CO2 storage be validated for commercial use? And how will commercial markets innovate and fund the integrated and expensive projects if UK Government refuses to take on risk?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Environment
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


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