In summary, CCS can bring a long term benefit to the UK and potential investors. But to succeed it needs long term commitments from both the public and private sectors. Each side needs to take on the risks that it can safely manage.
Despite the challenges in deployment to date our view is clear that the option of CCS in a future UK energy system needs to be kept open. As we stand, it is about piecing together proven technologies and applying them to CCS deployment. Energy system planners should ensure that any new unabated gas plants are both sited and financed in line with any new UK CCS strategy, even if they are not fitted with CCS from day one.
But vital for the industry to progress is that it has to develop a first commercial CCS plant in the UK. Despite a number of false starts we remain convinced that the key to reducing the cost of CCS lies in delivering asmall number of large plants sequentially, not at this point through further innovation into technology-focused research and development activity. So to move forward, the UK has to build its first full scale commercial plant.
This is why the ETI is supporting a project to develop an option to build a gas fired electricity generation power station (potentially as big as 3GW) with full CCS operation – capture, transport and offshore storage - to demonstrate business models that are attractive to industry, government and investors.
Looking into the longer term, the combination of bioenergy with CCS should be a component of future UK CCS strategy and its deployment advanced. Its ability to deliver negative emissions whilst also producing energy in the form of electricity, heat and liquid & gaseous fuels make it economically attractive from a systems wide perspective. But like CCS itself, the next steps are to demonstrate its components in actual deployment.
So we believe this shows us a compelling argument for CCS in the UK, and reaffirms our analysis that CCS is the biggest single lever available to the UK to deliver on its carbon abatement target