During the summer holidays, whilst Parliament was in recess, things have actually been quite busy in the world of CCS.

On the 8th September, the CCSA hosted a CCS Knowledge Transfer Workshop – to allow CCS project developers to engage with representatives of the two projects in the cancelled CCS Competition. The workshop was framed around the 90 Key Knowledge Deliverables (KKD’s) from the Competition projects – a requirement under the terms of the competition – which have now been published in full on the UK Government website. Together with our Lessons Learned report, which we blogged about in July, we should now have a good understanding of how to move forward with CCS projects and what to avoid.

Speaking of moving forward, let’s draw a line under the Competition and look to the future. We need a simple CCS story that answers three basic questions; Why CCS? Why UK? And Why Now?

 

A new report by the Parliamentary Advisory Group (PAG) on CCS was launched on the 12th September. This report “Lowest Cost Decarbonisation for the UK: The Critical Role of CCS” goes someway to answering the three basic questions. Let’s take each of them in turn:

Why CCS?

Although it’s been said numerous times before, let’s repeat the key conclusion from the majority of world-renowned climate organisations like the IPCC etc: attempting to tackle climate change without CCS will increase costs significantly.

However, the PAG CCS report also emphasises the point that CCS has economy-wide benefits:

Why UK?

There’s an argument that’s been brewing for a while that the UK doesn’t need to be a first mover on CCS – we can wait for other countries to develop the technology and then import it later. This argument simply isn’t true, for a number of reasons:

Why Now?

It may sound obvious, but projects like CCS take time to develop – especially the large-scale transport networks that will be able to take CO2 from a number of different emitters and deliver it to storage sites under the North Sea. We need to start now, otherwise CCS won’t be available in time to fulfil its role, and we won’t meet climate change targets.

There is also a compelling case for starting now when we consider a number of closing windows of opportunity:

 

Since becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May has made some interesting changes – notably the merger of the previous Department for Energy and Climate Change with the Department for Business, Industry and Skills into a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is clear that Industrial Strategy is a key focus of the new Government. Delivering an ambitious CCS programme will play a major part in ensuring that this Strategy is truly low-carbon.