Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) has wholeheartedly welcomed today’s (Tuesday) announcement by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) regarding a CCS electricity project.

The announcement stated that a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study contract is ready to sign for the White Rose commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) electricity project. Announcement of a FEED study contract for the Peterhead CCS project is also expected shortly. This gives a huge boost to the UK’s low-carbon economy.

Both projects will draw on the UK’s world-leading research expertise in CCS and proven engineering skills base. They will also enable the development of a CO2 transport and storage infrastructure in the North Sea, the largest CO2 storage resource in Europe.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, Director of SCCS and Professor of CCS at the University of Edinburgh said, “The progress DECC has now achieved renews momentum on CCS and inspires increased confidence that these two projects will be delivered. This is a big step that will help the UK and Europe to match the rapid progress being made on CCS deployment in the USA, Canada and China.”

He added, “This has been a long road for DECC. Since 2007, there have been very significant and unique UK achievements. From a standing start we have seen design and delivery of legislation, regulations and environmental protection measures put in place to enable the development of CCS and realise the CO2 storage potential of the North Sea.”

“Successive UK governments have been advocates for CCS. Today’s announcement is not yet the final go-ahead, as both projects still need to undergo an extensive design and contracting process followed by construction. This means that the first CO2 capture and injection would happen around 2018-2020.”

The UK has one of the world’s best finance packages for CCS demonstration. This includes the £1bn CCS Commercialisation Programme, which is providing financial support for the White Rose and Peterhead FEED studies, and long term Contracts for Difference (CfD) to provide secure revenue for low-carbon electricity.

These awards set the UK on a pathway to support the UK’s three other world-leading large scale projects – Teesside, Captain Clean Energy and Don Valley – which can bid for funding through the CfD scheme as part of the Electricity Market Reform. The CfD scheme will provide a reliable method for reducing cost to consumers while providing essential funding for CCS developers.