The U.K. government’s CCS Cost Reduction Taskforce’s (CRTF) has concluded that gas and coal power stations equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology have the potential to be cost competitive with other forms of low-carbon power generation in the UK by the early 2020’s.
The industry-led taskforce’s final report, “The potential for reducing the costs of CCS in the UK ” reiterated a claim from its interim report published last year.
The report says seven key steps are required by both government and industry for CCS to be cost-competitive, highlighting the importance of developing networks of pipelines and storage hubs. The other steps include creating a tax system in the UK that provides incentives to develop CO2 enhanced recovery; developing policy and financing regimes for CCS from industrial CO2; creating an industry-led vision of how phases of CCS projects can be developed and financed; focusing on how to construct contracts to make CCS projects bankable; and ensuring funding mechanisms are suitable for these types of projects.
The network approach is essential. As I wrote when the interim report was published, scale, shared infrastructure, and an interconnected, right-sized CCS network are keys to achieving the cost reductions projected by the task force. These are precisely the central tenets of the 2009 Pennsylvania CCS model that was developed with the help of the Clinton Climate Initiative during my tenure at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, when the agency undertook some of the most advanced work on CCS in the nation.
Governor Rendell and former President Clinton were far ahead of their time on CCS. The UK has recognized the need to catch up to them. With CCS at the “very center” of U.S. energy policy for both coal and natural gas, so does the U.S..