Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carbon Capture and Storage - New research from UKERC shows tough road ahead to realise potential.

Following the government’s announcement of £1bn to support the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) the UK Energy Research Centre today publishes a report which is cautiously optimistic about the technology. It identifies four key issues which the government must address:

  1. Choice of technologies. There are several different options but so far no clear indication of which will be best. For the moment the government should not attempt to save money by backing a single solution.

  2. There must be financial support, not financial regulation. Penalties for emissions cannot be effective until abatement technologies exist.

  3. Developing the technology will take a long time and will essentially be unpredictable. There may be a tipping point where it becomes clear that public money would be better spent on other methods of reducing carbon emissions.

  4. There will be a long-term storage liability. Government must take lessons from the nuclear industry and protect the interests of future generations.

Clearly CCS is no quick fix. We hope that the government will also look at short-term cost-saving projects to cut carbon and improve energy efficiency without waiting for CCS to prove itself. (Or not)


The full text of the report can be found at

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