There is “more than enough” carbon dioxide (CO2) storage capacity to meet the UK’s storage needs to 2050, according to a new report released by The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
The publication, titled ‘Taking stock of UK CO2,’ confirms there is no shortage of potential storage sites, either fully or partially appraised.
It also urges carbon capture and storage (CCS) development to “start small and build fast.”
The report is based on lessons learnt since the Government cancelled its two CCS demonstration projects at the end of 2015 and insists that the country has sufficient storage sites to meet needs out to 2050.
A statement affirmed, “There appears to be no significant technical barrier that would limit the CCS industry developing at scale in the UK from a number of strategic shoreline hubs.”
In the release, the east coast of England was identified as a prime location for CCS deployment. It has a large emissions base, good sites for large, new, low-carbon power stations and industry as well as good access to large, low-cost offshore storage sites.
Based on ETI systems modelling, delaying the implementation of CCS adds an estimated £1-2bn ($1.3-2.5bn) of funding per year throughout the 2020s in the UK’s quest to achieve its legally binding 2050 carbon target.
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, Director of (SCCS), stressed, “[We] would go further and suggest that the UK’s CO2 storage capacity could accept UK greenhouse gas emissions from industry, heat and power well beyond 2050 to 2100 or even 2200.”
“We hope the ETI’s findings will further strengthen the case for protecting these offshore assets and making swift progress on CCS – a technology that will deliver net zero carbon emissions not just for electricity but also industry, heat and transport by 2050,” he added.
The report also underlines that large-scale storage sites using shared infrastructure and existing low-risk technologies would provide the lowest cost route to developing CCS in the UK.
The Acorn project, a small-scale CCS project in North-East Scotland, was recently approved for funding under a programme to progress feasibility studies in 2017 and 2018.