Britain and China sign carbon capture agreement

Scientists and engineers from China and the United Kingdom have formed an initiative designed to advance the research, development and demonstration of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies.

The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS), Guangdong Low-carbon Technology and Industry Research Centre (GDLRC) and the Clean Fossil Energy Development Institute (CFEDI) signed the ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today at Lancaster House, London.

Witnessed by governor Zhu Xiaodan of Guangdong Province, and minister Greg Barker of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the agreement is expected to lead to the establishment of an international CCUS network, which will promote joint research and development, provide advice for local and regional governments and develop ways to exchange knowledge.

The partners plan to move rapidly towards demonstration of CCUS technologies in China, potentially within three to five years.

Barker and Xiaodan also concurrently signed a joint statement pledging a collaboration on low carbon development, including CCS technology, between the UK and China.

CCUS refers to a range of technologies that could significantly reduce carbon emissions worldwide. CO2 from power plants and industrial facilities can be captured and transported to underground storage sites where it can be geologically stored safely, thereby reducing emissions into the atmosphere.

The CO2 can also be used for enhanced oil recovery or locked up in stable materials.  A commercial-scale CCUS industry will also create jobs and revenue, while retaining the existing workforce in the fossil fuel power sector.

‘Greenhouse gas and particulate pollution from power generation and other stationary emission sources are a major contributing factor to our rapidly deteriorating global environment that affects us now and for future generations,’ said Michael Lam, CFEDI board chair in a statement. ‘I hope that with the support of the Guangdong Province and our partners here in the UK, CFEDI can make a major difference in promoting clean and low carbon energy in China and the rest of the World.’

The MoU is said to build on more than five years of joint CCUS activities between Guangdong and the UK, supported by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, DECC and Research Councils UK.

The MoU signatories have agreed to advise and support the Guangdong International CCUS Industry and Academic Collaboration Promotion Network (GDICCUS), which will promote CCUS research collaboration and technology industrialisation in the Guangdong Province of China.