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3 April 2012
The UK Energy Research Centre has today welcomed the announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate change that it is to launch a new competition for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and develop a Roadmap, setting out the steps it will be taking to develop the UK’s CCS industry in the 2020s.
Professor Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy and Director of the Sussex Energy Group (Science and Technology Policy Research) at Sussex University and lead author of the forthcoming (18 April) UKERC Report Carbon capture and storage: realising the potential, comments:
'CCS technologies are often highlighted as a crucial component of future low-carbon energy systems – both in the UK and internationally. But we still don’t know when these technologies will be technically proven at full scale, and whether their costs will be competitive with other low-carbon options.
'These questions need answering urgently, so it is encouraging to see DECC revising the competition to develop commercial scale CCS technologies and, even more importantly, expanding the entry criteria to include technologies that rely on gas and coal - apparently in recognition of the importance of keeping options open, and not closing down on any particular variant at such an early stage in the process. The original competition was mistaken in specifying in detail which technology industry should use.
'The £125m funding for research and development, to include a new £13m UK CCS Research Centre, is very welcome. However, as the Government acknowledges, the £1bn of capital funding will not be sufficient to fund several CCS plants. It is therefore essential that additional support from Electricity Market Reform process, and perhaps via the European Union, is co-ordinated with this capital funding.'