The National Grid could begin drilling sites off the UK coast to store carbon dioxide (CO2) under the seabed as early as May,
Stashing carbon in old oil and gas reservoirs which are now empty is a crucial part of new Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology which sucks greenhouse gases out of emissions generated by burning fossil fuels.
The new site for carbon storage on the east Yorkshire coast is roughly 70 miles off the coast near the local beauty spot of Flamborough Head (pictured).
The Crown Estate – which owns the storage rights on the UK continental shelf – announced late last week it has signed a lease for the permanent geological storage of CO2 with the National Grid.
The news was hailed as “particularly important” by the Energy Technologies Institute which has invested £2m in the project.
Andrew Green, Programme Manager for CCS at the ETI said: “We welcome any innovation in the field of CCS and progress on the appraisal of key CO2 storage sites is particularly important. As our modelling work has shown, CCS has the potential to play a major role in any future low carbon UK energy system.
“However, the industry requires innovation to make CCS economically viable. This multi-million pound project represents a major step forward in the creation of a CCS industry in the UK for multiple power stations and industrial sites, to store their CO2 rather than release into the atmosphere.”
In a statement the Crown Estate added: “The conclusion of this Agreement for Lease with National Grid is an exciting step for the fledgling industry. Much work still has to be done to progress CCS and in particular transport and storage infrastructure.”
National Grid’s storage project will be linked with the Humber region and is co-funded by the European Energy Programme for Recovery Package (EEPR) award.