Energy Secretary Amber Rudd insists the government sees carbon capture and storage (CCS) as having a potential role in the long term decarbonisation of the UK.
She said the country has implemented a robust “carbon capture ready” policy in Europe to facilitate the retrofit of CCS technology to Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs).
A proposed CCGT plant that is 300MW or larger can only be granted planning consent and get built if it is able to show it could be fitted with CCS within its lifetime and the developer “sets aside sufficient space to enable the retrofit”.
Responding to Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s query on scrapping the CCS competition last month, Ms Rudd added: “The Spending Review undertook a full review of capital spending plans to identify the areas of spending that will achieve the best economic returns while delivering on the commitment to invest £100 billion in infrastructure by the end of the Parliament.
“This necessarily involved difficult decisions, including to no longer make available £1 billion capital funding to support the CCS competition.”
She said government has invested more than £30 million in CCS research and development between 2011 and 2016.
In addition, it announced a £1.7 million fund to support three innovative CCS technologies through the government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and £2.5 million through the Energy Technologies Institute.
“We are also supporting, jointly with the Scottish Government, Summit Power with £4.2 million funding to undertake industrial research and development at their proposed CCS Caledonia Clean Energy Project in Grangemouth,” the Energy Secretary added.
She believes the UK remains an attractive place to invest, with the country “widely seen to be one of the most stable markets due to its attractive risk and return profile, world-class regulation, transparent policy development, strong financial markets and clear property rights for investors”.
Last week Ms Rudd blamed Labour for awarding £175 million in public subsidies to support diesel generators.