UK gives up on carbon capture and storage

26 November 2015
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
The UK has pulled a plug on carbon capture and storage technology

The UK has pulled a plug on carbon capture and storage technology

The planned funding of £1bn for development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the UK has been scrapped following the Autumn Statement.

The funding was available as part of a competition to develop technology capable of removing carbon dioxide from fumes made by fossil fuel-fired power plants and other industrial facilities. The fumes would then be stored in underground reservoirs.

Two prospective large-scale projects were competing for the funding – one at the gas-fired plant in Peterhead, Scotland, proposed by Shell and SSE, the other called the White Rose project at the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station, operated by Drax.

Both projects are now facing cancellation.

"Without that funding, we no longer see a future for the Peterhead project in the near term," a spokesman for Shell said.

The CEO of Capture Power, one of the companies behind the Yorkshire-based White Rose project, expressed similar uncertainty about the scheme’s future. "It is too early to make any definitive decisions about the future of the White Rose CCS Project,” he said. “However, it is difficult to imagine its continuation in the absence of crucial government support."

The announcement comes as the world leaders assemble in Paris to discuss how to stop average global temperatures from rising beyond the 2°C threshold deemed safe by climatologists to prevent extreme climate change effects.

According to the International Energy Agency, CCS could help reduce the global emissions by one sixth of what is needed by 2050.

The UK has previously considered CCS a vital component in its battle to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

"Only six months ago, the government's manifesto committed £1bn of funding for CCS,” said Luke Warren, CEO of Carbon Capture and Storage Association, describing the government’s decision as ‘devastating’.

“Moving the goalposts just at the time when a four-year competition is about to conclude is an appalling way to do business.

"This announcement is a real blow to confidence for companies investing in CCS.”

According to the manufacturer’s organisation EEF, CCS is the only option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in some sectors such as steel and cement making.

"Whilst we understand that the government has had to make some extremely tough decisions, this one is not in the long term interests of the UK economy or energy consumers,” said Claire Jakobsson, the organisation's head of climate and environment policy.

"CCS has the potential to halve the costs of decarbonising the UK economy by 2050, which amounts to £32bn a year by 2050.”

Widespread adoption of CCS technologies around the world has so far failed to take off. Last year, Canadian utility Saskatchewan Power opened the world's first coal-fired power plant retrofitted with CCS last year.


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

  • Control System Engineer

    United Utilities
    • Lancaster, Lancashire
    • Up to £33415 + Comprehensive Benefits

    Provide ICA maintenance and engineering support to the Water & Wastewater Production

    • Recruiter: United Utilities

    Apply for this job

  • Signal Processing Engineer

    B&W Group
    • Steyning, West Sussex
    • Competitive Salary

    We are looking for a Signal Processing Engineer to support the R&D process on active loudspeaker products.

    • Recruiter: B&W Group

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

    De Montfort University
    • Leicestershire
    • Grade G: £36,672 - £46,414 per annum

    Join the Projects Team to develop and manage medium to large projects on the university estate.

    • Recruiter: De Montfort University

    Apply for this job

  • Advanced Commissioning Engineer

    National Grid
    • Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, England
    • £46000 - £57000 per year

    National Grid is at the heart of energy in the UK. The electricity we provide gets the nation to work, powers schools and lights everyone's way home. Our energy network connects the nation, so it's essential that it's continually evolving, advancing and i

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Oxford Instruments
    • Yatton, Bristol
    • Competitive salary plus excellent benefits

    We are looking for an electrical designer to join our engineering design team.

    • Recruiter: Oxford Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Skilled Electrical Fitter

    • Bolton
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   The Electrical Fitter will carry out manufacturing and test tasks within the electrical department in accordance with product certification procedures, defined workmanship  ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Manufacturing Technician

    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   As a qualified craftsman with experience in electrical manufacturing, the Manufacturing Technician will report to a Team Leader, receiving day to day ...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power)

    BAE Systems
    • Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer (Electrical Power) Would you like to play a key role in providing technical direction to the design of power systems on the Successor class submarines, which will replace the current Trident-equipped Vanguard class, currently in servic

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technical Lead - Global Operations, Engineering & Laboratory

    Pfizer Ltd
    • Kent

    An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a dynamic team of professional engineers, supporting the development of novel drugs.

    • Recruiter: Pfizer Ltd

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶


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

Subscribe to E&T