Sunday, October 30, 2011

CCS Stumbles in the UK

Earlier this month, the UK government announced the cancellation of plans to fund a large-scale CCS project at the Longannet coal-fired power plant in Scotland. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had pledged £1 billion to the effort, but project partners including Scottish Power, Royal Dutch Shell, and National Grid wanted an additional £500 million in government support. Unable to reach a deal, the government announced that "a decision has been made not to proceed with Longannet but to pursue other projects with the £1bn funding made available."

This is an unfortunate development, but the fact that £1 billion in funding will remain available is encouraging. Indications are that the financing dispute over Longannet was specific to that proposal, rather than a reflection of any more general softening of government support, even in the present context of spending cuts and budget austerity. Earlier this year, DECC submitted seven other UK CCS projects to the EU for possible funding assistance. The government remains hopeful on that score, and has reiterated its commitment to CCS at the national level.

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