A project funded by the government has identified cost-effective carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites off the UK coast.
A total of 20 specific Carbon Dioxide (CO2) storage sites have been discovered which could together store around 78,000 million tonnes of CO2.
The 12-month project carried out for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has confirmed there are no “technical hurdles” to permanently and safely store large quantities of CO2 in the North Sea.
The ETI said it has selected five of these sites for further detailed analysis given their potential contribution to mobilise commercial-scale CCS projects for power and industrial use.
There is also potential for these sites to be developed to provide a CO2 storage hub for emissions from mainland Europe, enhancing their economic attractiveness, it added.
Andrew Green, ETI’s CCS Programme Manager said: “The five sites featured in the study, along with three others developed previously, could collectively store over 1.5GT of CO2 and could be fully operational as early as 2030 which would be enough to service a significant roll out of commercial projects, including up to 10GW of power generation and major industrial sources fitted with CCS as highlighted in earlier ETI analysis.
“This would represent the development of only 2% of the UK’s national storage resource potential. Our view is that CCS should still play an important role in the long term decarbonisation of the UK energy system and continues to offer the lowest cost solution to meeting the UK’s legally binding 2050 climate change targets.”