Page 0023

Britain's future energy supplies may be

looking at renewables, nuclear and oil &

gas, but the reality is that in the region of

40% of the UK's electricity generation

today comes from coal and it will continue in the energy mix for decades to come.

A big issue is to reduce carbon dioxide

emissions from coal and gas-fired power

stations and a new technology is at the

centre of a £1 billion project to reduce

emissions from coal, gas, and in other

industries - it is called Carbon Capture

and Storage (CCS) and Britain is leading

the world.

"CCS is an industry that can compete with

other low-carbon sources to ensure security

and diversity of our electricity supply, an

industry that can make our energy intensive

industries cleaner and an industry that can

bring jobs and wealth to our shores."

So said Energy and Climate Change Minister

Edward Davey in a Crown Estate 2014-15

outlook document on CCS and Natural Gas.

ENORMOUS POTENTIAL

Carbon capture and storage is a process of

capturing millions of tons of CO2 from the

exhausts of power stations and industrial

facilities, transporting it via pipes or ships,

and then pumping it more than a kilometre

underground for permanent storage.

Typically this can be in former reservoirs of

depleted oil and gas fields. The UK has the

best offshore CO2 resources in Europe, estimated

at about 70 billion tonnes - enough

to store 100 years' worth of current emissions in the electricity sector.

The potential of CCS is enormous - a UK

CCS Cost Reduction Taskforce report said

success would be a major prize for the UK

economy "cutting the costs of meeting carbon targets

by up to 1% of GDP (or around

£42 billion a year) by 2050."

To push forward actions the government is

currently taking steps through a CSS

Commercialisation programme to help CCS

equipped power generation to become

viable by the 2020s. The programme

involves a £1 billion programme to support

large scale demonstration projects.

Closely involved is the Crown Estate which

manages the 12-mile nautical seabed and

continental shelf and is providing leases for

companies for the transportation and storage of CO2.

In the past year it signed the UK's first two

Agreements for Lease for the permanent geological storage

of CO2, which it described as a

"major milestone" for the industry. The two are:

� White Rose, Yorkshire - this will be the

UK's first CCS coal-fired power station and

is being designed to burn 10% biomass with

coal to reduce emissions even further. It will

generate enough power for 600,000 homes

and 2 million tons of CO2 will be stored in

deep rock formations 1km under the North

Sea, about 90km offshore. Companies

involved are Alstom, Drax Power, BOC and

National Grid.

� Peterhead, Aberdeenshire - this will be

the world's first gas CCS plant and it will

capture up to 10 million tonnes of CO2

emissions, to be stored 2km under the floor

of the North Sea in the depleted Goldeneye

gas reservoir 100km offshore. It will supply

electricity for about 500,000 homes and is a

joint project by Shell and SSE.

£100 MILLION SUPPORT

The two projects are receiving £100 million

from the UK Government to support the

detailed planning and engineering - a

process known as FEED (Front End

Engineering and Design) which aims to

finalise and de-risk all aspects of the

proposal ahead of taking final investment

decisions. This is expected to take about

a year.

The Commercialisation Programme is one of

ENERGYCARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE

23

£1 BILLION TO HELP BURY

EMISSIONS UNDER THE NORTH SEA

BRITAIN LEADS ON CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE

CCS

Image courtesy Statoil

shows how CO2 emissions are

pumped from

the surface to depleted

oil or gas reservoirs

under the North Sea.

This is the technology

to be used at two CCS

projects planned in the

UK, one of which -

White Rose - received a

Euro 300 million boost

as we went to Press

from the EC's NER300

programme that funds

innovative renewable

technology and CCS

projects.

continued on page 24

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