The government has announced that the ‘Acorn’ Scottish Cluster and the Viking cluster in the Humber “ remain best placed to deliver our objectives” and will move forward to the next stage of deployment as ‘Track 2 clusters’, as part of the government’s carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing programme.
The announcement followed a review of applications against the Track-2 eligibility criteria. The decisions are subject to due diligence, consenting, subsidy control, affordability and value for money assessments. The government said it would commence engagement, assessment of delivery plans and due diligence with Acorn and Viking . It said, “In making this decision, we align with the Review of Net Zero chaired by Chris Skidmore MP, which included a recommendation that government should take a pragmatic approach to cluster selection by allowing the most advanced clusters to progress more quickly.”
Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive at the CCSA, said it was “…Vital that the government urgently sets out clarity on the process and timeline for selecting carbon capture sites within these ‘Track-2’ clusters and within the previously announced Track-1 cluster expansion. Billions of pounds of investment is waiting to be deployed to decarbonise these industrial regions, but firm plans are required to secure it.”
She added, “There are a number of other clusters under development across the country, which is why last year we asked government for visibility of the longer-term CCUS deployment plan,” and warned “Government’s forthcoming vision for the UK CCUS sector needs to be published as soon as possible, to avoid investment flight in those regions that have not been selected today.”
The government said it recognise the importance of providing further certainty for industry and promised to we will work with other transport and storage systems on future opportunities through the government’s CCUS programme.
It promised a vision for the UK CCUS sector “later this year”, that will set out “how CCUS will support our net zero ambitions, to raise confidence and improve visibility for investors.”