Monday, April 16, 2012

UK Relaunches CCS Policy

In a post last week (Scotland Aims at CCS for All Coal Plants by 2025), I briefly mentioned the UK government's resurrection of its £1 billion ($1.6 billion) CCS funding program. This funding opportunity, referred to as the "CCS Commercialisation Programme," forms the centerpiece of a newly revamped British CCS policy known as the "CCS Roadmap," about which more information is now available. The CCS Roadmap envisions "widespread deployment of cost-competitive CCS. We are seeking to support the development of a sustainable CCS industry that will capture emissions from clusters of power and industrial plants linked together by a pipeline network transporting CO2 to suitable sites offshore" (p. 6). More specifically, the government proposes to achieve commercialization of CCS facilities in the UK by the 2020s through 5 key interventions:

  1. The Commercialization Program - This £1 billion funding program is premised on the argument that, in order for CCS to make a meaningful emissions abatement impact, it will need to be widely adopted by the 2020s, which in turn requires that "final investment decisions for commercial-scale CCS will need to be made in the early 2020s" (p. 3). To meet this objective, the government plans to support multiple offshore storage projects in the power sector scheduled to begin operations between 2016 and 2020.

  2. A 4-year, £125 million ($199 million) R&D program including the establishment of a new UK CCS Research Center.

  3. Electricity market reform, including the introduction of pre-arranged "contracts for difference" to ensure cost recovery for utilities.

  4. The removal of key market barriers such as gaps in the supply chain and the absence of suitable industrial applications.

  5. International engagement to help position British firms as global CCS market leaders .

The CCS Roadmap is accompanied by a detailed Action Plan, shown here.With its new Roadmap, the UK has cemented its place as a world leader in the push for CCS deployment, which is essential for the development of CDR technologies such as DAC and BECCS. Of course, whether CCS is widely adopted in the UK by the 2020s remains to be seen, and there are many obstacles that stand in its way, as demonstrated by last year's failure at Longannet. Nevertheless, DECC and the government deserve credit for redoubling their efforts to support CCS, particularly given the current climate of fiscal austerity.

No comments:

Post a Comment