4th April 2012
A project to deliver a system to provide assurance that carbon dioxide is securely stored deep underground beneath the sea bed is being developed by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
ESME, the ETI’s internationally peer-reviewed Energy System Modelling Environment, has identified the optimum solution to delivering an affordable, secure and sustainable power mix for 2050 as a combination of fossil fuel plants fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS), nuclear and renewable energy.
In its Carbon Capture and Storage Programme, the ETI has already launched a demonstration capture project targeting pre-combustion CO2 capture from coal, and is commissioning a second capture project on post combustion capture from gas-fired plant. On storage, two research projects have been completed, one on Measuring, Monitoring and Verification (MMV) requirements for the UK and the other making an assessment of the UK’s storage potential (UKSAP, the UK Storage Appraisal Project).
Together with valuable insights gained from the design studies completed as part of DECC’s CCS competition, the ETI has used these studies to identify capability gaps in the UK which need to be addressed in MMV.
From this analysis, the ETI has identified that the key requirement gap is for proven systems capable of detecting and measuring any leak in the shallow subsurface and the marine environment. Although leakage is expected to be very unlikely in practice, such systems will be important to provide assurance to regulators, storage providers and other stakeholders for the storage sector of the CCS industry.
Dr David Clarke, ETI Chief Executive said: "Although leakage is unlikely, containment can only be proved by monitoring for leaks, as part of a comprehensive monitoring plan. EC Directives place an obligation on the operator to assess whether there is leakage from particular sites and, if it is discovered, whether it is potentially damaging to the environment. Continued use of fossil fuels with CCS will be an important element of an affordable and secure energy mix for the UK and CO2 storage is one of the most resilient technologies under development as it can be applied to coal and gas in the power sector, industrial emissions and biomass. There is an urgent need to demonstrate the technologies required for carbon capture and storage and appraise potential offshore storage sites in order to design the optimal CCS system. Delivering this monitoring system will be a crucial step in building public and commercial confidence in the acceptability of CCS technology."
The deadline for notification of intention to submit a proposal is 15 June and the closing date is 29 June. A copy of the Request for Proposals (RfP) outlining the requirements expected by the ETI can be found here. Most of the CO2 storage potential in UK waters exists in saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas reservoirs.
Monitoring the marine and shallow subsurface will be relevant in all but a very few circumstances. It will be deployed in baseline surveys, the injection phase and post closure phases of storage. It is anticipated that the first UK store will be commissioned in 2016. Before then a system capable of detecting changes in the environment directly attributable to leakage from a CO2 store needs to be in place. The ETI is prepared to provide up to £5 million investment in a project to develop and demonstrate such systems.
The ETI has announced £136m worth of investments in projects covering offshore wind, marine energy, distributed energy, buildings, energy storage and distribution, CCS, transport and bioenergy since it was formed in 2008. It has already announced £31m of investments in CCS technology.
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Notes to Editors
The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power, transport and associated infrastructure. For more information, please go to www.eti.co.uk
The ETI’s six private sector members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The ETI will accelerate the deployment of affordable, secure low-carbon energy systems from 2020 to 2050 by demonstrating technologies, developing knowledge, skills and supply-chains and informing the development of regulation, standards and policy.
For further information please contact:
ETI PR Manager: Nigel Richardson on 01509 202084 / 07827 946064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org