The UK’s National Grid announced it will be abandoning its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UK North Sea.
The news from the utility company comes shortly after the UK government announced a colossal £20 billion (~$25 billion) spending plan on carbon capture technology in the country and thus also strongly undermines the nation’s net zero ambitions.
Instead, National Grid has said it will be refocusing its resources on upgrading its electricity networks so as to be able to cope with the rising output from renewable energy sources, particularly from wind farms.
The change is apparently dictated by a surge in demand for electric power associated with the growing use of heat pumps and electric vehicles.
The company had planned to build new pipelines in the Humber region of the UK North Sea that would have transported emissions from oil and gas operations in the area.
In fact, as per current plans, National Grid would have developed 120 km of pipelines starting at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire and running offshore to store the captured CO2 emissions permanently under the seabed.
Hence, the project would have aided the decarbonization of two of the UK’s largest industrial areas – Humber and Teesside.
The CCS project is a joint venture between a coalition of companies called the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), which in addition to NGV also includes oil and gas supermajors like Shell and BP.
Now that National Grid has announced it will be quitting the carbon capture project, its National Grid Ventures (NGV) arm has already entered negotiations to sell its pipeline development plans to its partners and BP is now set to become system operator of the pipeline project.
According to a spokesperson, the utility company is committed to making sure the transfer of its CCS projects runs smoothly.