Big six unveil CCUS plan in North Sea
Leading suppliers bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total have teamed up to form the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) to develop offshore Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) infrastructure in the North Sea.
With bp as operator, the infrastructure - which could cut UK industrial emissions in half and store millions of tonnes of CO2 - will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonized industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.
In a statement, bp said the projects will "kick-start decarbonization of the industry" in two of the UK’s largest industrial clusters. Both aim to start up in 2026, with realistic pathways to achieve net zero as early as 2030 through a combination of carbon capture, hydrogen and fuel switching.
The NEP, which aims to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the UK North Sea, has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s £170 million Industrial Decarbonization Challenge.
The Humber is the most carbon-intensive industrial cluster in the UK, emitting 12.4 million tonnes a year, while Teesside industries account for 5.6% of the country’s emissions. The region is also home to five of the UK’s top 25 CO2 emitters.
This is part of the £4.7 billion Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund set up by the government to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges using UK-based research and development.
The application follows the approval by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the addition of bp and Equinor alongside National Grid to the CO2 appraisal and storage licence covering the Endurance reservoir.
This affirms the strategic importance of the Endurance reservoir (located about 145km off the coast from Teesside and around 85km from the Humber coast) as the most mature and large-scale saline aquifer for CO2 storage in the offshore UK Continental Shelf, that can potentially enable industrial decarbonization from both clusters.
Andy Lane, vice president of CCUS solutions at bp and managing director for Net Zero Teesside, said: “The formation of the NEP is another significant milestone towards developing the offshore infrastructure that will be needed to safely transport and store CO2 from CCUS projects along England’s east coast.
“The partnership and our joint bid demonstrate industry’s willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible to accelerate making CCUS a reality in the UK, helping to decarbonize the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals.”
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) awarded a carbon dioxide (CO2) appraisal and storage licence (CS licence) to Eni UK Limited (Eni) earlier this month, covering an area within the Liverpool Bay area of the East Irish Sea.
Under the CS licence, Eni plans to reuse and repurpose depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs (the Hamilton, Hamilton North and Lennox fields) and associated infrastructure to permanently store CO2 captured in the region.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.