Energy giant National Grid has successfully completed test drilling of a carbon dioxide storage site off the Yorkshire coast.
The firm described it as a "major milestone" for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and said early indications are that the undersea site, 40 miles off the Yorkshire coast, is viable for storing up to 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The North Sea site is close to a number of power stations, oil refineries and industrial plants in the Humber region, which create about a tenth of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions.
Peter Boreham, National Grid's director of European business development, said: "Global energy demand is likely to double in the next 20 years and CCS is the only technology that can turn high-carbon fuels into genuinely low-carbon electricity and keep costs low for consumers.
"Drilling is part of a programme which confirms our confidence that CCS will be a practical part of tomorrow's energy mix. Within Europe, the UK is in a good position to lead on CCS, with clusters of industry and power stations that are near to large storage sites like this one in the North Sea.
“Progress has been supported by an EU grant and this will enable further analysis on the samples we've collected."
National Grid said it would use its expertise in developing gas pipelines to create a network to transport carbon dioxide to a storage site.