Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an opportunity for the UK to deliver net zero carbon emissions.
That’s according to a report by Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) which shows how low carbon and competitive economies can be “rapidly and uniquely assisted” by CCS.
It set out some of the assets the technology can deliver to the country’s economy.
They include retaining skilled jobs, creating new industries, a large scale of CCS projects and an oil and gas workforce that delivers high-quality infrastructure for the UK and Europe.
The report also highlights the potential cost to taxpayers of delaying CCS deployment, the loss of crucial infrastructure through North Sea decommissioning and the risk of a “brain drain” of expertise to countries where the technology is already being delivered.
It calls for a reset of goals and ambition in the UK and recommends an effort by the industry, government and academia in delivering industrial CCS, clarity on costs and supporting a Scottish CO2 hub.
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director said: “In the UK, we have an enviable set of unique offshore assets that, if used now rather than decommissioned, will deliver a least-cost pathway to a competitive, low carbon economy. Any delay risks creating a considerable burden for UK taxpayers further down the line as well missing the opportunity to build a homegrown CCS industry that can support the climate actions of other countries.
“The progress and potential of CCS in the UK is much more than a government competition. Our report describes why we need to get one of the most obvious and effective climate change tools back on track and highlights the strengths and opportunities that the UK – and Scotland, in particular – possesses.”
In November, the government axed its £1 billion CCS competition.
According to a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee, meeting the country’s climate commitments could be challenging without investment in CCS.