As government leans toward RAB regulatory model for CCS, SSE calls for double the ambition

SSE has called on government to more than double its support for carbon capture and storage.

The March Budget committed £800m to support “at least two” clusters via the CCS Infrastructure Fund. SSE wants at least five.

Earlier this week Beis published an updated timetable for getting things moving to support business model development before the end of this year for different types of CCS, e.g. power, industry, low carbon hydrogen, as well as transportation and storage.

On transportation, the department said it was minded to support a new regulated network model, which “has the potential to exhibit risk-reward investment characteristics similar to regulated utilities with adjustments for construction risks and CCUS specific risks”. The document suggests government is leaning towards using an existing regulator, which it believes would minimise delays and attract investment.

SSE is keen on both hydrogen and CCS and is hedging its bets for a new CCGT power station at Keadby – Keadby 3 – which it aims to decarbonise through either route.

“Meanwhile, Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being constructed by SSE Renewables and Equinor off the East Coast, could help produce ‘green hydrogen’ for the region, while our storage assets in East Yorkshire could be upgraded to store the fuel in underground caverns,” stated SSE Thermal MD, Stephen Wheeler. “There is clearly a lot of work ahead to turn this potential into reality, but for our part, the will is certainly there.”

He called for “increased ambition in the Autumn Budget and beyond” to support CCS infrastructure development.

“We’re calling for support for at least five low-carbon clusters across the UK by 2030, with at least one delivered by 2025, to ensure the necessary infrastructure is delivered at pace,” he added.

SSE call here.

Beis CCS business models consultation outcome here.