4 reasons CCS is the right choice for the UK
A high-level parliamentary inquiry has today advised that the most cost-effective way to cut the UK’s CO2 emissions is to capture the carbon produced at fossil fuelled power plants and store it under the North Sea.
According to the report by Lord Ernest Ronald Oxburgh, the former Chairman of Shell Transport & Trading Co., carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be constructed at a similar cost to nuclear and offshore wind projects — if the policy environment shifts to back the technology.
Here are four reasons ministers ought to consider the method:
Carbon capture and storage infrastructure can be fitted onto existing power stations, or be custom-fitted onto new projects. The report says that the UK is in an ideal position to install CCS because captured CO2 could potentially be stored in the North Sea’s depleted oil and gas fields. This would effectively breathe new life into disused oil infrastructure.
It can help achieve emissions targets
National Grid, the UK’s electricity transmission network, has said that CCS is one of three technologies — the other two being nuclear and renewables — that can help the country achieve its carbon emissions targets. By 2050, the UK is aiming to reduce its emissions by a minimum of 80 percent on 1990 levels.
It’s affordable (really)
Oxburgh’s report also stated that CCS could be deployed at a cost of £85 per megawatt-hour in the early 2020s as long as ministers introduce policies to back the technology. In fact, it is predicted that it will be more expensive to reach decarbonisation targets without capturing and storing carbon.
It could stimulate the UK’s economy
The development of CCS could provide jobs in parts of the country hit hard by the loss of large industrial processes, like steelmaking.
The Telegraph has predicted that locales like Teesside — which is home to five significant CO2 emitting plants — and other post-industrial coastal areas could reap the benefits of CCS development.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.