UK carbon-capture schemes could create 225,000 new jobs, new Scots energy study shows

The Acorn carbon capture scheme off Grampian
The Acorn carbon capture scheme off Grampian

A new cost-benefit analysis published today shows that – instead of the financial liability that it is often portrayed as – C02 is in fact a commercial liability.

And the report by an independent Scottish energy consultancy shows that the value of carbon-capture and storage projects to the UK would be £163 billion compared to costs of £34 billion.

The study was completed by Edinburgh-based Summit Power Caledonia in collaboration with Industria Mundum AG, Banchory-based Pale Blue Dot Energy, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Strathclyde University. 

Stephen Kerr, Project Director at Summit Power Caledonia, said:

“Compared against costs of £34 billion, this CCS investment gives a return ratio of almost 5:1 while around 225,000 jobs could be created or retained and around 1.5 Gt of CO2 captured and stored.

Summit Power Caledonia also call today on Brit-Govt to set up a new dedicated national CCS Delivery Body with the explicit task of working with the private sector

Kerr added: “Sufficient funding should be made available to support the first critical phases of investment pre-2020 for the East Coast network, starting with the existing initiatives; the Caledonian Clean Energy Project at Grangemouth, the St Fergus Acorn project and the Teesside Collective Projects.

“CCS has to date been seen through the prism of electricity prices and the relative cost versus other low-carbon generation technologies that have benefitted from many years of subsidy. CCS costs will reduce with learning through deployment as well as efficient use of infrastructure at scale.

“The benefits of CCS are wide ranging, impacting broadly across different aspects of society and through linked economic activities. That’s why transparent and quantified cost benefit analyses must be undertaken when comparing alternative approaches to achieving emission reductions, Clean Growth and Industrial Strategies.”

The developer of the Acorn CCS project in Grampian – CO2DeepStore and its consulting partners Pale Blue Dot Energy –  welcomed the report “Clean Air-Clean Industry-Clean Growth; How Carbon capture will boost the UK economy”, which concludes that CCS will add £129 billion of societal and economic benefits to the UK.

Furthermore, the study finds that waiting before starting CCS in the UK or exporting CO2 to Norway will both have significant negative impact on the value of CCS for the UK.

CCS is a means to decarbonise multiple industry sectors and provide the volume of hydrogen required to decarbonise heating in the UK. Wide availability of hydrogen will also enable its use for transport.

CO2DeepStore are developers of the Acorn CCS project, a low cost full chain CCS project capturing CO2 from the St Fergus gas terminal for permanent storage deep underground beneath the North Sea.

Steve Murphy, Finance Director at CO2DeepStore, said: “This study supports the opportunity presented by the Acorn CCS project. Given our re-use of existing infrastructure it is possible to construct the Acorn project by 2022 and use it as a basis for initiating and growing CCS in the UK.

“Hydrogen provides a huge decarbonisation opportunity for heat and transport and north-east Scotland is the best place to start”.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here:

5 Oct 2017





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