LEP boss backs new carbon capture report as Humber vies to be key player

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 30 Apr 2019

The Humber is now vying to become one of three UK hubs which could adopt carbon capture and storage technology by 2025.

A government committee last week urged for “clear policy direction” and backing for the pioneering energy process, currently being piloted in the region at Drax Power Station.

Humber LEP chair Lord Haskins spoke at the committee meeting, and said more ambition was needed to reap the rewards of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS).

It comes as the region hopes to become one of three clusters in the UK to adopt the technology, which captures harmful carbon emissions before they are released into the atmosphere.

The carbon can then be safely stored underground, or used in industrial processes such as drinks manufacturing.

Lord Haskins said: “The Humber industrial cluster is vital to the UK economy.

How the carbon capture process works (Drax Group)

“With the highest emissions we can also deliver more sizeable benefits through CCUS than other regions, while creating carbon-negative energy, promoting clean growth, and supporting other major local employers to adapt and reduce their emissions.

“However, if the UK is to establish leadership in CCUS and experience the full benefits, then a more ambitious and collaborative approach between major industrial clusters like the Humber is required.

Read more: 'Clear direction' needed to make carbon capture a success story

“We are therefore pleased that the Select Committee is supporting a move away from competition between the clusters and hope the Government will consider in response how it can expand its approach so that the potential of this opportunity can be maximised.”

In a report released last week, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee said the Government should “move away from vague and ambiguous targets and give a clear policy direction” to carbon capture.

Lord Haskins said carbon capture offers 'huge benefits' to the Humber region (Hull Live)

It also suggested the Government should move away from a competition for funding, and instead adopt a collaborative approach which “promotes collaboration and benefits CCUS development across the UK.”

Drax Power Station, which would act as the anchor for any future Humber-based project, also welcomed the report.

Read more: Carbon capture first at Drax

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.

Watch: Drax's carbon capture pilot project

“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.”

In December, the Government set out an ambition for the world’s first “net-zero carbon” industrial cluster by 2040 to cut emissions, backed by up to £170m funding. 

The Humber is the largest of the six industrial clusters the Government has identified with high emissions, at some 12.6 megatons of CO2 every year. 

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