UK has ‘more than enough’ geological CO2 storage to tackle our emissions to 2050, says ETI

Large-scale storage sites using shared infrastructure and existing low risk technologies would provide the lowest cost route to developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK, according to a new report from The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The report, called Taking stock of UK CO2, also found:

  • The UK has more than enough potential CO2 storage sites to meet its needs out to 2050 and a substantial number of these sites have already been fully or partially appraised.
  • Based on the appraisal work carried out to date (by ETI and other parties), there appears to be no significant technical barrier that would limit the CCS industry developing at scale in the UK from a number of strategic shoreline hubs.
  • The east coast of England has been identified as a prime location for CCS deployment as it has a large emissions base, there are good sites for large new low carbon power stations and industry and it is close to large, low cost offshore storage sites.
  • Once shared infrastructure has been developed then the decarbonisation of industry by CCS can be rolled out at an attractive cost and the generation of hydrogen and negative emissions developed.
  • Brine production can increase storage capacity and injection rates cost effectively.
  • Some matches of emitter and store options could allow CCS development to “start small and build fast”, reducing the size of the initial commitment and risk.

Dennis Gammer, the ETI’s CCS strategy manager and the report’s author said: “Following the closure of the Government’s CCS commercialisation competition, we have reassessed options for developing the UK’s possible CCS transport and storage infrastructure and found that there is no shortage of potential storage sites, either fully or partially appraised.

“Any attractive CCS projects to developers and the government will need to realise economies of scale at, or relatively shortly after start-up, and because of this are most likely to be large gas power stations delivering strategic infrastructure to enable the later tie-in of industrial emissions.

“For some potential matches of emitter and store options to start small and build quickly may reduce the size of any initial commitment at risk and this offers an additional approach to building a CCS network.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, director of Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) said: “We welcome the ETI’s findings and, in fact, would go further and suggest that the UK’s CO2 storage capacity could accept UK greenhouse gas emissions from industry, heat and power well beyond 2050 to 2100, or even 2200. This can create jobs and protect UK businesses against inevitable rises in carbon prices from our trading partners in Europe, the USA and China.

Related content:

CCS ‘within reach in 2020s’ with new industry structure and obligation, says report

NAO: second CCS competition ‘poor value’

What is CCS’s future? Andrew Green argues that CCS is too important to be delayed. Can a new approach to gas power with CCS help it get back on track?

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