'Clear direction' needed to make carbon capture a success story

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 25 Apr 2019

“Clear policy direction” is needed to ensure the UK seizes the opportunities of carbon capture and storage technology, a government committee has said.

The pioneering process aims to capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are released into the atmosphere during combustion.

Waste gases can then be stored or used in other industrial processes.

Drax Power Station, near Goole, is currently piloting a carbon capture project, and in February announced it had caught CO2 emissions for the first time.

Now, the Government is being urged to “move away from vague and ambiguous targets” and give “a clear policy direction to ensure the UK seizes the industrial and decarbonisation benefits” of carbon capture and storage.

A report published by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee today said the technology was needed to meet climate change targets.

L-R Chris Rayner, founder of C-Capture, Drax Power CEO Andy Koss, Caspar Schoolderman, director of engineering at C-Captur and Carl Clayton, Drax research and innovation engineer (Drax Group)

Anna Turley, a member of the BEIS, said: “The UK has an opportunity to lead the world in the development of a new CCUS industry.

“In addition to helping to tackle UK carbon emissions, CCUS can play a crucial role in delivering much needed investment in skills and infrastructure and supporting regional growth and jobs.

“The current Energy Minister has been a champion for CCUS, and there have been some encouraging recent developments, but the CCUS industry has been the victim of years of turbulent policy support and suffered a series of false dawns.

“The Government now needs to give the ‘green-light’ to CCUS and ensure that we seize the domestic growth and jobs opportunities of this modern, green industry.”

Will Gardiner, chief executive of Drax Group (Daniel Lewis)

The report also noted that in the UK, failure to deploy CCUS could double the cost of meeting targets under the Climate Change Act 2008, rising from approximately one per cent to two per cent of GDP per annum in 2050.

BEIS recognised the Energy Minister’s “personal commitment and support” for CCUS but found there is “a lack of clarity” concerning the Government’s ambitions for CCUS.

Read more: Drax boss urges Government to make carbon capture a 'Humber success story'

The Government has set a target to commission the first CCUS facility by the mid-2020s.

The Humber region was named as one of five clusters – alongside Teesside, Merseyside, South Wales and North East Scotland – as being well suited to early CCUS deployment.

The report recommended ambitions be raised to target the development of first CCUS projects in at least three clusters by 2025.

Watch: Drax's carbon capture project

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet – but if we take steps now the UK could lead the world in pioneering the CCUS technologies needed to meet our climate targets.

“Supporting the development of the CCUS industry in the UK will generate jobs and economic growth here whilst creating new export opportunities, helping other countries to make the progress needed to meet global climate targets.

Read more: Humber-wide carbon capture potential excites project anchor Drax

“Drax’s BECCS pilot plant has proven that the innovative carbon capture technology we’re using could be scaled up to create the world’s first negative emissions power station, helping to remove the gases that cause global warming from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced.”

Drax’s new carbon capture project is currently taking a tonne of CO2 a day.

The innovative technology has been developed by Leeds-based C-Capture. Engineers started work on the pilot plant  back in November .

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