CCS technology 'not as efficient' as previously thought

29 January 2013
By Edward Gent
Mobile version
Share |
Carbon capture technology may not be as efficient as previously thought

Carbon capture technology may not be as efficient as previously thought

The Government is being warned that carbon capture technology may not cut greenhouse gas emissions as effectively as previously thought.

A report produced by Professor Geoff Hammond, from the University of Bath, and Dr Craig Jones, from resource efficiency company Sustain, has found that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plants will cut the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity by only 70 per cent - 20 per cent less than previously assumed.

The article, published in the Energy Policy journal, has found that CCS could deliver a 90 per cent reduction in the direct emissions from a power station, but doesn't capture the upstream emissions of fuel production such as methane leakages, which are 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, from coal mining and gas pipelining.

Combined with the fuel penalty of a CCS installation of between 15-20 per cent, which also means an increase in upstream emissions, the report argues CCS cannot possibly deliver a 90 per cent emissions reduction.

In fact, when full life cycle consumption-based emissions are considered, CCS may only deliver a 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for coal-fired electricity generation.

Dr Craig Jones, principal associate at Sustain, said: "This report demonstrably proves the importance of full life cycle emissions. We believe that it's time for governments to start considering these consumption-based emissions in their policy making.

"For example, with depleting North Sea gas reserves the UK is looking abroad to provide more and more of its fossil fuels. This will require longer transport distances and longer gas pipelines, which in turn gives rise to more fugitive methane emissions and its resulting GHG impact."

Currently, coal-fired electricity releases 1.09 kg CO2e per kWh of electricity delivered to the UK consumer and this was predicted to fall to 0.31 kg CO2e per kWh with CCS technologies.

Gas-fired electricity currently releases 0.47 kg CO2e per kWh of electricity delivered to the UK consumer and this was also predicted to fall to 0.08 kg CO2e per kWh with CCS technologies.

Professor Geoff Hammond, founder director of the University of Bath's Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment, added: "A 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions is a significant gain in terms of climate change mitigation.

“However, if Government departments and agencies presume that CCS can remove 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the power station flue gases, they will seriously underestimate the challenge of achieving a decarbonised electricity sector.

“Upstream emissions produce a drag on our ability to deliver on meaningful global warming targets in the UK and the wider world."

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Stakeholder Specialist (Pricing)

    National Grid
    • Leicestershire, England, Hinckley
    • Negotiable

    Stakeholder Specialist (Pricing) National Grid connects Britain with the electricity and gas that keeps homes warm and businesses powered. We are driving the agenda to provide secure and sustainable energy both now and in the future. To meet this challen

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Investment Strategy Analyst (Capital)

    National Grid
    • Leicestershire, Hinckley, England
    • Negotiable

    Investment Strategy Analyst (Capital)£28,185 - £31,501 plus relevant benefitsHinckley National Grid's energy network transports gas to homes and businesses all over the UK. It's an essential part of all our lives. And it needs to be continuously advanced

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Integrity Engineer

    National Grid
    • England, West Midlands / England
    • £41 - £526 per annum + plus relevant benefits

    Integrity Engineer£41,526 - £46,000 plus relevant benefitsWest Midlands/East Midlands National Grid's energy network transports gas and electricity to homes and businesses all over the UK. It's an essential part of all our lives. And it needs to be contin

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Asset Strategy Specialist

    National Grid
    • England, Hinckley, Leicestershire
    • Negotiable

    National Grid's distribution network transports gas to homes and businesses all over the UK. It's an essential part of all our lives. And it needs to be continuously advanced and enhanced to meet increasing demand whilst embracing new energy solutions. Th

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Engineer, Network Equipment

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • £49-58k per annum, dependent on experience

    Manage issues and working groups relating to all types of equipment and assets used on the UK Transmission and Distribution Networks.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Programme Manager, Network Resilience

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • Competitive salary, dependent on experience

    Co-ordinate the network resilience, emergency planning and the Single Electricity Number (SEN) work in the ENA Engineering team.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Operations Supervisor (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation)

    National Grid
    • England, Cambridgeshire
    • £33000 - £39000 per annum

    Operations Supervisor - (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation) Salary: Circa £33k - 39k dependant on experience + vehicle and great additional benefits (share scheme, pension, potential bonus).Location: Wisbech - Cambridgeshire We currently have an excit

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    Siemens
    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T