Existing undersea stores such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs should be at the heart of a UK wide push for Carbon Capture and storage (CCS) according to a report published by The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
CCS technology is regarded by many as being essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding 2050 carbon targets. Indeed, the ETI has warned that failure to deploy CCS will end up costing the UK an extra £1 – 2bn per year.
The government’s 2015 cancellation of its £1bn CCS competition was widely regarded as a major setback for the UK’s position in this emerging area.
However, according to the report – Taking stock of UK CO2 – large-scale storage sites using shared infrastructure and existing low risk technologies could provide a low cost route to developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK.
The report identifies the east coast of England – which has a large emissions base, good sites for new power stations and good access to large offshore storage sites – as a prime location for CCS deployment. It argues that once shared infrastructure has been developed then the decarbonisation of industry by CCS can be rolled out at an attractive cost and the generation of hydrogen and negative emissions developed.
The report also points to recent research carried out by ETI and a number of academic and industry partners which demonstrated that brine production (the removal of brine from subsea stores) can increase storage capacity and injection rates.
Commenting on the report, Dennis Gammer, strategy manager for ETI said: “Following the closure of the Government’s CCS commercialisation competition, we have reassessed options for developing the UK’s possible CCS transport and storage infrastructure and found that there is no shortage of potential storage sites, either fully or partially appraised.”