North Sea basin is key to new EU carbon-capture industry – but needs political leadership, warns Scots think-tank

SCCS logoNorth Sea nations have the skills and storage capacity to deliver a carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry that will transform Europe’s industry and power sectors – but need the political will to do so.

That is the main finding of a new report published by the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) project, issued to coincide with the European Commission’s conference Edinburgh on “Regional cooperation on energy and maritime spatial planning in the North Sea”.

The SCCS report, A CCS future for Europe: catalysing North Sea action, derives from a meeting of European and international experts and delivers a 10-point plan for policy makers, highlighting the need for robust business models for CO₂ transport and storage in the North Sea basin as well as targeted funding support to develop regional carbon capture “clusters” of emitters.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director, said: “Europe faces tough targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. As the EU considers policy options to drive CCS deployment in line with 2030 climate and energy objectives, it is essential that this starts with CO₂ storage.

“Earlier this week, a review of the CCS Directive recommended a Europe-wide target of 220 million tonnes a year for CCS deployment by 2030 due to the ‘genuine and urgent need for CCS in Europe’.

“Our new report strongly supports this finding and shows how the North Sea region can accelerate delivery of CCS across many nations.

“We specify actions to deliver essential infrastructure, and pinpoint incentives to support CO₂ transport and storage as well as develop cost-effective CCS clusters in regions across Europe.

Now is the time to transfer skills from a challenged oil industry to revolutionise carbon storage.

“Our report also suggests lessons that Europe could learn from developments in North America, where a CO₂ pipelines infrastructure and the use of CO₂ in enhanced oil recovery – as a profitable business model which also stores carbon – is driving the delivery of CCS for both industrial clusters and power generation.

“If Europe wants to remain a leader in tackling climate change, and maximise the contribution of its science and industry expertise to international action, then it must overcome the business barriers to CCS deployment.” 

Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), founded in 2005, is an independent research partnership of the British Geological Survey and Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde universities.

The full report, A CCS future for Europe: catalysing North Sea action, can be viewed here:


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