With a huge market for exports of technology and expertise, large industrial clusters, well-developed gas transport systems, and scientific knowledge on permanent CO2 storage, the UK has the resources to become a world leader in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
Underneath the sea in England, Ireland, and Scotland, there are rock formations that could potentially hold up to 78 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Carbon storage could also provide many jobs and a CO2 import industry in the UK that could aid other countries on their path to reducing emissions, Katy Heidenreich, Supply Chain & Operations Director at Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) wrote for Energy Voice.
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) introduced a licensing round in 2022 that offers 13 areas appropriate for off coast CCS projects, with the potential for more. At least 100 such sites are needed to help the UK achieve net zero.
As part of the North Sea Transition Deal, OEUK provides government and industry with knowledge on how companies can utilize the potential of carbon storage.
“The way we do business has to change, with CCS licensees engaging early with their supply chain,” Heidenreich wrote. “Open communication and collaboration will allow companies to see what’s over the horizon and plan accordingly.” The government has to approve projects fast to show companies strategic commitment and give them confidence in the UK’s potential, she said. A key part of this is providing a solid regulatory and fiscal framework despite the current economic and political challenges.
In its CCS Supply Chain Report 2022, OEUK offers an overview of the opportunities and a classification system of the technology. The offshore energies association will issue two more reports that discuss the ways UK’s energy transition can decrease emissions, create new jobs, and bring energy security and export opportunities. The focus of the upcoming reports will be on wind and hydrogen technology.