UK Moves Ahead With Carbon Capture Policy

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  • UK Government releases a consultation paper on carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS)
  • The government intends to assess and support carbon capture projects at a cluster level
  • Phase 1 or the provisional cluster sequencing was initiated calling for interested CCUS stakeholders to respond

Holding to the timetable it set out for progressing the CCUS potential business models last December, the UK Government has opened a consultation on carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) in order to determine the sequencing of project clusters. 

The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a consultation paper on February 10th. It seeks views on an approach to sequencing the deployment of CCUS industrial clusters to achieve its net zero target. A “cluster” here is referred to any combination of at least two projects. They should be of the following: carbon capture, power and hydrogen, a transmission and storage network, incorporating onshore/ offshore pipelines. The closing date is 10th of March 2021. 

UK Carbon Capture Efforts

This consultation follows on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution announced on November 18th 2020 and The Energy White Paper released on 18th of December 2020, in which a commitment was announced to deploy two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s (“Track-1”) and further two clusters by 2030 (“Track-2”). 

Track-1 is further divided into two phases: “Phase-1” – Provisional Cluster Sequencing and “Phase 2” – Final Project Selection.  Phase one would begin with an eligibility stage based on three criteria. Only eligible clusters would progress to the evaluation stage, where plans would be assessed against five criteria. In phase two, the government will determine the individual projects that would receive support. Phase two is scheduled to start in August 2021. The consultation paper provides the extensive timetable for Phase 1 and 2. 

As stated in the Government Energy White Paper: “Our ambition is to capture 10Mt of carbon dioxide a year by 2030 – the equivalent of 4 million cars’ worth of annual emissions. We will invest up to £1 billion to support the establishment of CCUS in 4 industrial clusters, creating “SuperPlaces” in areas such as the North East, the Humber, North West, Scotland and Wales.” 

The government seems fully aware of how rising global temperatures present a threat to the country’s security and economy. With investment in new technologies like CCUS, the UK plans to ensure a green recovery from the coronavirus and drive emissions down – both now and in the future.

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