MPs on Commons Energy Cttee call for Peterhead carbon-capture project to be ‘fast-tracked’

Members of the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee have called on the UK Government to fast-track carbon-capture and storage (CCS) projects in order to limit climate change.

Funding decisions on projects at Drax in Yorkshire and the Shell/ SSE ‘Goldeneye’ project at  Peterhead should be reached by early 2015, the committee said, “follo

Peterhead power station - part of the Shell / SSE proposed Goldeneye carbon capture plan
Peterhead power station – part of the Shell / SSE proposed Goldeneye carbon capture plan

wing years of delay in the ‘competition’ launched to provide capital support for the industry”.

CCS can be fitted to coal-fired and gas-fired power stations to collect their carbon dioxide gas emissions and then store them underground, including in empty gas fields under the North Sea.

The UK Government launched a “competition” in 2007 to kick-start CCS in the UK by offering capital support to winning pilot projects. Seven years on, the competition has only delivered initial funding to two projects and the expected start date of CCS has been pushed back from 2014 to 2020, the committee said.

Tim Yeo, MP, a former Conservative environment minister who chairs the Commons Energy committee, said: “Fitting power stations with technology to capture and store carbon is absolutely vital if we are to avoid dangerously destabilising the climate.

“After nearly a decade of delay, the Department of Energy & Climate Change has finally got near to delivering two pilot CCS projects in the UK. It must now fast-track these projects and reach final investment decisions before the election to ensure this technology can start delivering carbon savings by the 2020s.

“These two demonstration projects will not be enough to kick-start the industry or have a significant impact on our carbon budgets.

“Ministers must also ensure that viable CCS projects not involved in the competition are able to apply for guaranteed-price contracts alongside other low-carbon energy schemes.”

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