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Britains emerging carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry has been boosted by government funding to support an innovative plant proposed for Scotland, while two industry reports have put the case for coordinating industrial facilities within larger CCS schemes based at power stations.

First, the UK and Scottish governments are to provide 4.2mn for research and feasibility work for a proposed full-chain 570 MW CCS coal gasification power station to be located in Grangemouth, Scotland. The funding will allow Seattle-based Summit Power Group to undertake studies with the objective of building its proposed Caledonia Clean Energy Project.

The project aims to integrate state-of-the-art coal gasification, 570 MW power generation, and carbon capture technologies in a single facility for the first time, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The proposed power station will be fitted with technology designed to capture 90% of carbon dioxide emissions, which would then be transported via existing onshore and sub-sea pipelines for permanent geological storage 2 km beneath the North Sea.

Findings of the studies will shared across industry and academia to increase understanding of how to develop and deploy CCS at commercial scale, adds DECC.

Meanwhile, a new report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) concludes that the UK has an opportunity to build a CCS sector capable of reducing the costs of meeting its carbon targets by exploiting its unique offshore engineering capabilities, thus safeguarding the future of key energy-intensive industries.

Written in partnership with Element Energy and Poyry, Building the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Sector by 2030  Scenarios and Actions says that developing a 10 GW scale CCS sector by 2030 is feasible and affordable through a number of different pathways, if co-ordinated clusters are developed. This scale of CCS deployment could capture and store around 50mn tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from power and industry by 2030.

However, infrastructure coordination is essential to future development. Enabling projects to use the pipes and storage sites developed by the first two projects already supported by DECC will help reduce costs and increase strategic build out options, concludes the ETI.

Last, new analysis from the Green Alliance says that the government should support CCS for energy-intensive industries, alongside power plants, in order to meet carbon reduction targets.

While the government has initiated two major CCS demonstration projects at coal and gas-fired power plants in Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire, as a new technology these will be very costly, says the Green Alliance. However, the research points out that, if the government were to include, for example, the Humber heavy industries in its CCS demonstration project at White Rose power station in Yorkshire, it could reduce the projects cost by nearly two-thirds per tonne of carbon dioxide captured.  

Despite the higher investment needed to create these industrial CCS clusters, nine times more carbon could be captured, says the Green Alliance, and the cost would still compare favourably with other government-supported energy projects such as Hinkley Point C.


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  Websites: Energy Disciplines: Energy Processes: Energy Products: Subjects: Economics, business and commerce | Electricity from fuel combustion | Emissions | Policy and Governance | Carbon capture, transportation and storage | Hard coal | Coal products | Carbon dioxide |

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