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Carbon Capture and Storage needs to be part of the UK’s future energy system and the economic prize could be considerable

3 April 2017

Andrew Green
Andrew Green Programme Manager

CCS is critical to decarbonising the UK power, heat and transport sectors, through providing reliable, low carbon electricity generation and the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

Although critics have claimed it is expensive our analysis has shown that the costs and risks to the UK’s decarbonisation pathway could actually be reduced by bringing forward, rather than delaying, the deployment of CCS. This makes the economic prize of CCS to the UK potentially considerable.

Early commitment by private sector investors will need similar commitments from the public sector to make investments attractive - therefore long term policy commitment from government is more important than early funding.

The key to early cost reduction for CCS is through the deployment of investable projects rather than creating new capture technology platforms. The challenge CCS presently faces is a commercial one not a technical one.

Today’s capture technology is from a mature technology base and further improvements are expected in cost and performance. This can move the industry forward today. Deeper technology improvements will not be as impactful as reducing costs by deployment. It is about making it work, and work at a scale which enables cost reductions.

Developing lower cost, more efficient technologies remains important for the future, but the commercial deployment of CCS must not be delayed to wait for such developments.