The Current Policy Environment
CCS is still a relatively new technology that is in the early stages of development and requires the building of extensive infrastructure. As a result, the costs remain high and this is main impediment to the wide scale use of CCS technologies. The private sector currently considers CCS to be too expensive and too high risk to be viable and therefore government support is needed.
The Government has long recognised this, first announcing assistance in 2007. However, this funding was later cancelled. Similarly, in 2012, the government committed £1 billion to the development of CCS technologies but in 2015, just before the bids for the funding were to be submitted, the funding was unexpectedly withdrawn. This was a significant blow to the development of CCS technology in the UK.
However, in September 2016 a report commissioned by the Government, The Oxburgh Review, was critical of the Government’s policies towards CCS and argued that CCS is “an essential technology for the least cost decarbonisation of the UK economy”. Since then, the Government’s attitude to CCS has started to change, but there is still a long way to go.
CLEAN GROWTH STRATEGY
The UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, released in October 2017, announced that, subject to reductions in the cost, it would aim to deploy CCS on a large scale by the early 2030s. It also detailed several measures to achieve this:
The Government announced plans to create a CCS Council which would work with the industry to develop and deploy CCS technologies.
Furthermore, £100 million of funding was announced to support research and innovation. However, this figure is still well below the £1 billion of funding that was scrapped in 2015.
Date published: 07/11/2018
Last updated: 07/11/2018