The government has announced that it is supporting the construction of a single post-combustion coal-fired project, the first in the UK to feature carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The government plans to launch a competition to build the CCS demonstrator in November. John Hutton, the business and enterprise secretary said: ‘Coal is abundant in the world but it is dirty. I am today committing the UK government to backing the construction within seven years of one of the world's first commercial-scale coal-fired CCS projects.
‘Our analysis shows that post-combustion capture is the most relevant technology to the vast proportion of coal-fired generation capacity globally. A commercial-scale demonstration of this technology, as part of a full CCS chain, opens up huge possibilities, not just for Britain but also for the world.
‘It has the potential to remove and safely store up to 90 per cent of damaging CO2 emissions. The capture technology can also be retro-fitted to existing coal-fired plants.’
The government requires the project to demonstrate post-combustion CCS on a coal-fired power station, with CO2 stored offshore. The full CCS chain should be in operation by 2014, and the project needs to capture around 90 per cent of the CO2 emitted by the equivalent of 300MW generating capacity.
The project will be the UK’s contribution to the EU's plans to have 10 to 12 demonstration projects in progress by 2015.