In its effort to shift to a low carbon economy, the government is exploring the use of new carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to mitigate CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel power stations.
Our 2015 policy insight argued that that CCS is the only technology available to decarbonise heavy industry to the extent needed to meet carbon targets and protect the UK from climate change.
It recommended three steps to ensure an economically viable future for CCS:
1. Piggy back industrial CCS clusters on existing CCS demonstration plants
2. Foster competition between different CCS technologies to bring the price down
3. Create a new funding mechanism for CCS
Our previous work on CCS has focused on UK and EU power sector CCS:
- The CCS challenge: securing a second chance for UK carbon capture and storage showed how successive delays in the UK's CCS demonstration programme risk undermining the government's strategy to meet carbon budgets and build new gas plants. It shows how a new industrial strategy to accelerate CCS development can get the programme back on track.
- The practical potential for gas carbon capture and storage in Europe in 2030 identified that the majority of gas plants in the EU will be unready or unable to deploy CCS by 2030 if current policies are pursued. However, it also shows that policy changes in five key European countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK – could unlock the potential for 50 to 100GW of gas to be genuinely ready to fit CCS by 2030, transforming the prospects for gas to play a large role in decarbonising Europe’s power sector.