Welcome to the blog site of the carbon capture and storage association (CCSA)
Nikki Brain, Policy Manager at the CCSA, reflects on the outlook for CCS in the UK over the coming year:
As we are now one month into 2018, let’s take stock of where we are with CCS in the UK.
Back in October last year, the Government released its much awaited Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), which contained a set of new commitments to move forward with CCS in the UK. For those with an interest in UK climate policy this is a welcome development, given that CCS remains critical to meeting our carbon targets at least cost, and the only option for deep decarbonisation for some industries.
The new approach set out in the CGS emphasises collaboration between Government and the private sector; recognises the role CCUS can play in decarbonising multiple sectors including industry, power, heat and transport; and highlights the economic potential CCUS represents to the UK.
Guest blog from Olaf Martins, Global Engagement Manager, International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP)
What does Leonardo da Vinci’s famous rendering of ‘Vitruvian man’ have to do with carbon capture and storage (CCS)?
Leonardo has come to be seen as the definitive renaissance figure. Artist, architect and sculpture, he was also a scientist and engineer, with many of his technical observations and achievements anticipating modern inventions such as the helicopter and submarine. Because of these, he is now regarded as a seer as well.
But even Leonardo never predicted the world’s reliance on oil and gas – or contemporary concerns about CO2 in the atmosphere.
Since the Spending Review decision to cancel the CCS Competition, the UK Government and industry have been working hard behind the scenes to think about a new approach for CCS. Then Brexit happened. Whatever else one might surmise about the impact of this result, one thing is certain – there is likely to be a long period of upheaval and uncertainty as the UK attempts to unhinge itself from Brussels.
In some ways, this actually presents an opportunity to reinforce and reposition climate change arguments and the importance of CCS. There are positive signs that the UK is not backing down on its commitments – only last week (30th June), the Government announced that the UK will legislate for a 57% emissions reductions target for the fifth carbon budget (covering the period 2028-2032) in line with the advice of the Committee on Climate Change.
Political turmoil or not, the UK remains a signatory to the Paris Agreement and the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2°C. Meeting this goal will require serious action from all countries around the world and the UK must play its part. On the 29th June, the CCSA held an important joint workshop with the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) on “CCS Post-Paris: Realising Global Ambitions”. At this workshop, one presenter pointed to the importance of CCS in enabling countries to have “options” available by which the aim of the Paris Agreement can be met. The point was made that because CCS is essential to decarbonising industrial sectors (such as steel, cement, refining etc) as well as power, has a role to play in decarbonising heat and is the best option for producing zero-carbon hydrogen as a fuel – countries will find it exceedingly difficult to meet the Paris Agreement if CCS is not available. Furthermore, the contribution that bioenergy with CCS (bioCCS or BECCS) could make is enormous as it actually enables emissions to be removed from the atmosphere. Imagine the massive benefit this could have, particularly in terms of offsetting hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as aviation.
The big question we are now faced with in the UK (aside from the Brexit fallout of course!) is: how to get CCS on track?
It is the day after the darkest day for CCS in UK history, and the CCSA and its members are still in shock.
The same words keep repeating themselves; devastated, sad, bewildered. The question; Why? And why now? Amazingly, a day later and the silence from Government is deafening. Only the two-line statement to the London Stock Exchange can be found.
Welcome to the new blog of the CCSA; “Going Underground”. In this blog, we hope to give you some insights into the big issues affecting CCS at the moment – in the UK, Europe and internationally.
If you’re here, then you probably already know that CCS is one of the most vital low-carbon technologies in the global fight against climate change. The recent IPCC Fifth Assessment report shows that it is almost impossible to meet the global 2 degrees target without CCS, and that attempting to do so would ramp up the cost of mitigation by a massive 138%! Compare that with scenarios where nuclear is phased out (7% cost increase) or solar and wind have limited roles (6% cost increase) and the importance of CCS becomes glaringly obvious.