Carbon capture and storage technology could bring down household electricity bills by £82 a year according to new research.
The joint report published by the union TUC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association claims rolling out CCS could create as many as 15,000-30,000 jobs and a market worth £15-35bn by 2030.
CCS involves trapping carbon dioxide gas – from the smoke pumped out by factories and coal and gas power stations – and storing it underground.
The report compares different scenarios, ranging from no CCS by 2030 to more ambitious programmes.
It says “full deployment” of CCS for the power and industrial sectors of 20 gigawatts (GW) – between 15 and 25 projects by 2030 – could bring £2-4bn of economic benefits to the UK each year.
Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary said: “New CCS plants would create thousands of new jobs and safeguard many more in energy intensive industries such as steel, chemicals and cement… and bring new R&D, design and construction jobs to areas like Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.”
Dr Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the CCSA said: “The UK is one of the best places in the world to develop CCS – we have abundant storage capacity in the North Sea, a world-class oil and gas industry with the right skills for CCS, and existing infrastructure that can be re-used.”