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Delaying commercial scale deployment of CCUS increases risk and the costs of a UK energy transition to low carbon

27 November 2018

Andrew Haslett
Andrew Haslett Chief Engineer

This new report produced for us by the ESC confirms our belief that CCUS is highly versatile and valuable as an enabler of a wide range of options to meet carbon targets at low cost, and the technology is vital to an affordable low carbon transition for the UK. When account is taken of the potential benefits of CCUS to wider energy system decarbonisation, the case becomes compelling. By not deploying CCUS the UK could see the cost of a low carbon transition rise significantly, putting pressure on renewables generation capacity.

This report is based on new modelling runs using our Energy System Modelling Environment (ESME), an internationally peer reviewed planning capability, and fully reflects recent cost reductions in renewables. Coupled with the Baringa and Frontier Economic work the analysis has shown CCUS to be vital in the whole energy system, with the added potential to support hydrogen production before 2030 with biomass gasification allowing for negative emissions in the medium term. The ‘least cost’ pathway in ESME to meeting 2050 carbon targets includes 4GW of gas with CCUS by 2040, rising to 6GW by 2050.

We believe that CCUS retains a key role as part of a least cost portfolio of low carbon technologies for the UK and will increase the options for decarbonised electricity, reducing deployment risks for other technologies.

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