CCS could boost UK economy by £160bn
The societal and economic benefits of deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) on the East Coast of the UK would be as much as £163bn, according to a new study.
Led by low-carbon power specialist Summit Power, the research suggests that these benefits would significantly outweigh the estimated CCS operating costs of £34bn.
It also shows that CCS deployment would create massive new regional employment and investment opportunities, including approximately 225,600 jobs, and £5bn in environmental and health benefits.
Global CCS Institute executive adviser for Europe, John Scowcroft, says the research reaffirms the role CCS technology can play in delivering economic, societal and climate benefits.
“CCS is a well-tested and versatile technology which has been proven as essential to meeting international climate change commitments,” he said.
“This study provides data to support the need for rapid CCS acceleration and makes the sustainable base case for CCS as a central pillar in a new energy economy.”
CCS traps the CO2 from coal and gas power plants and buries it permanently underground so it cannot warm the climate, with the UN previously concluding that it was “hugely important” to tackling climate change.
The Global CCS Institute says the technology is the only one capable of decarbonising the industrial sector, while building the local economy and tackling climate change at the same time.
This comes after a report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) earlier this year suggested that delaying the implementation of CCS could add £1-2bn a year to costs throughout the 2020s in Britain.
It also argues there are no technical barriers to the storage of CO2 that would limit the CCS industry developing at scale in the UK, and that once shared infrastructure has been developed, it can be rolled out at an attractive cost.
“There is more than enough potential storage capacity to meet the UK’s needs for CO2 storage to 2050 and well beyond,” the ETI report concludes.