Reports assess the economic benefits of green technologies
Reports have been published today that assess the potential for innovation in three low-carbon technologies and their economic benefits to the UK.
The three Technology Innovation Needs Assessment (TINA) reports on carbon capture and storage (CCS), marine energy and electricity networks and storage (EN&S) also explore the challenges for investment of these technologies in the UK.
The work, undertaken by the Low-Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group (LCICG), is expected to help inform the prioritisation of public and private sector investment to ensure these technologies reach their full potential.
According to a statement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the CCS TINA found that innovation across the technology chain could reduce UK energy system costs by £10bn–£45bn to 2050 and that innovation to ensure the security of long-term CO2 storage remains critical to CCS viability.
The key technological components of carbon capture, transport and injection have been demonstrated at commercial scale but component costs and efficiency penalties remain high and uncertain, and many challenges related to full integration remain to be tackled.
Advanced EN&S technologies have the potential to address new stresses that are likely to be placed on the electricity system and to do so more cost-effectively than would be possible through traditional methods of grid reinforcement and fossil-fuel-powered system balancing capacity.
Innovation in EN&S technologies could save the UK £4bn–£19bn to 2050 and could help create UK-based business opportunities that could contribute an estimated £6bn–£34bn to GDP to 2050.
The TINA report on marine energy found that the cost of energy generated will need to reach around £100/MWh by 2025 for it to be competitive with other technologies.
If successful, innovation in marine energy could save the energy system approximately £3bn–£8bn and help create a UK industry that could contribute an estimated £1bn–£4bn to GDP up to 2050.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a founding member of LCICG, today welcomed the reports.
In a statement, Andrew Haslett, director of strategy at ETI, said: ‘Tackling the challenge of affordability, sustainability and security relies on taking a pragmatic approach to energy technologies. We must focus on what is practical and that means finding solutions that work for both end users and investors.
‘These reports complement our own modelling and research, which provide the context for the ETI’s own focus on achieving significant cost reductions and enhanced reliability energy technologies.’
The LCICG issued its first TINA in February focused on offshore wind and further TINAs are due to be issued in the coming months.