As COP26 nears and global industry begins to focus on discussing the mitigation of carbon emissions, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is quickly becoming a household term in the UK. This is mirrored with the announcement that leading UK carbon capture research organisation, the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), is to continue its work until September 2025 following funding for a new programme.

With funding provided by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the programme, Network+, will aim to increase the UK carbon capture research base to include a wider range of scientific disciplines. In addition, the UKCCSRC has said that the programme will play a ‘key part’ in building new high-tech CCS industries.

The establishment of these new industries will contribute to the levels of CO2 being captured and stored in the UK rising to a projected 10 million tonnes per year by 2030, compared with zero currently.

Intending to help the UK gain full value from its position in the CCS community, Network+ includes supporting the rapid growth of CCS deployment in the UK, the ‘economy’ of CCS from reducing the cost of its implementation to creating wealth from the process, scaling-up the infrastructure, and coming up with fast-track research projects.

Commenting on the programme, Dr Lucy Martin, Deputy Director for Cross-Council Programmes, EPSRC, said, “The UKCCSRC has already delivered significant impact across technology and policy development and this further funding will allow the Network+ to build on this success and help the UK achieve its net zero target by 2050.”

This target could see the capture and storage of around 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050, according to the UKCCSRC.

With the programme set to accelerate the UK’s net-zero trajectory, Jeremy Carey, Board Chair, UKCCSRC, said, “The UKCCSRC Network+ will build on its existing networks to create a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of CCS stakeholders.”

As well as running core CCS-related research programmes, the UKCCSRC aims to maximise their ‘real world’ potential by encouraging collaboration between researchers and industry.