Our unequivocal view is that to deliver an affordable low carbon energy transition the UK needs to deploy CCS on both power and industrial sites. Our near 10 years of research into CCS with leading academic and industry partners shows that there are no technical barriers to UK offshore CO2 storage (plenty of available storage space is already identified) and that a coordinated approach that involves colocation, shared infrastructure and the deployment of existing technologies can reduce the cost of CCS implementation to levels competitive with other low carbon technologies.
We welcome the publication of Lord Oxburgh’s report and support its findings. It reinforces the benefits of CCS with a clear call – that we agree with – to implement projects now to deliver maximum financial benefits. Delays to implementation increases any energy system transition costs.
The technology to implement full chain CCS is available today, but to date their economic cases have not been adequately made. It is pleasing that the report identifies clear regulatory and economic measures to incentivise emitters to capture their CO2. This provides the government with a clear opportunity to take a bold lead. Energy infrastructure investment should be a key part of any industrial strategy. It needs reinvestment and CCS could be the catalyst. The report provides clear markers which should be followed up – a new transportation and storage company (initially government owned) together with regulatory structures and incentives to collect CO2 to help drive down investor risk.
We hope this report reignites the discussion on the importance of CCS in the UK’s future energy system. A future UK low carbon energy system that delivers our climate targets should be a blended mix of technologies (nuclear, renewables, gas, bioenergy coupled with greater efficiency in transport and the heating of buildings). To deliver it economically it needs to include CCS.