14 March 2012

UK government to award innovative CCS technology

SSE's Ferrybridge power station in West Yorkshire is home to the UK's first carbon capture pilot plant.

The UK government has this week launched a competition to provide £20 million this year to companies developing cheaper and more efficient components for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.

It is hoped that the funding will support the development of CCS in the UK, which is seen as crucial if the nation wants to meet its climate change targets and continue to reduce emissions. Further progress in CCS technology could also be incorporated into the UK supply chain and reduce the cost of future commercial CCS deployment, for an industry which is estimated to be worth as much as £6.5 billion a year by the late 2020s.

CCS works by capturing and liquefying CO2 emissions from power stations, which can then be transferred through a pipeline to diminishing oil and gas fields beyond the sea bed. The regeneration process is being seen as vital to a future of generating power from coal and gas, whilst mitigating CO2 emissions at the same time.

“CCS has the potential to make massive reductions in our national CO2 emissions in a very cost-effective manner,” says Jeff Chapman, CEO of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association.

“This R&D funding is most welcome to help optimise the technology, save costs and put the UK into a strong competitive position in world markets.”

In addition to the £20 million funds, the government has also earmarked a further £1 billion to funding commercial scale CCS projects in the UK, under the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s CCS Commercialisation programme. The programme, set to be launched in the next few weeks, will see £125 million set aside each year to the research and development of CCS components for a four-year period. This cross-Government programme will be delivered by the DECC, the Technology Strategy Board, the Energy Technologies Institute and the Research Councils.

“Carbon Capture and Storage will play a vital role in ensuring we develop a low carbon energy mix,” said the UK’s Energy secretary, Edward Davey. “We are helping to create a new industry in the UK and are well placed to become a world leader.”

Last year, the UK opened its first carbon capture plant, at a cost of £20 million, as part of a flagship test programme at the Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) Ferrybridge power station in West Yorkshire. The innovative technology will capture the equivalent of up 100 tonnes of carbon emissions a day from SSE’s Ferrybridge coal-fired power station.


Image 01:  Alan Murray-Rust | Wikimedia Commons

Image 02: Climate Action Stock Photo

Image 03: Climate Action Stock Photo

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