Government opens up CCS project to gas

Gas-fired power plants can now join their coal-powered counterparts in the running for a slice of the government’s £1bn carbon capture and storage demonstration programme. Whitehall is committed to funding […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Gas-fired power plants can now join their coal-powered counterparts in the running for a slice of the government’s £1bn carbon capture and storage demonstration programme.

Whitehall is committed to funding four commercial-scale CCS projects and recently announced that up to £1bn will be available for the first commercial scale CCS demonstration project.

Previously, only coal-fired plants were eligible, but today the government announced that gas-fired facilities can join the race too.

The decision to include projects on gas-fired power stations in the demonstration programme comes after the government analysed the net benefits of this approach, including an assessment of the evidence and recommendations from theClimate Change Committee’s second progress report in June and information collected through the market-sounding exercise conducted by the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage in the summer.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today said: “The government is reasserting its mission to lead the world on CCS, by opening our funding process to what could be one of the first ever commercial-scale CCS projects on a gas-fired plant in the world.

“The UK looks set to rely on gas for years to come. We won’t be able to take the carbon out of all gas plants overnight, but we hope to support the process by investment in new technology now. In the long run carbon capture will help provide us with a secure and affordable energy system and we want to encourage companies with projects on both gas and coal-fired power stations to come forward.”

Mr Huhne stressed that the coalition was “determined to ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of CCS development.”