• UK CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce report a positive signal of intent tainted by previous governments’ vacillations

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

A post on the Energy Voice website has looked at the recent release of a report by the UK government’s CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce in the light of previous UK government policy changes over the past 15 years. The new report, released last month, states that carbon capture, utilisation and storage fits with the government’s wider Clean Growth Strategy in that it can deliver maximum carbon emissions reductions, follow a clear cost reduction pathway, and make the UK a global technology leader. Unlocking early investment, separating transport and storage as a business from capture facilities as separate businesses, and creating clusters of capture facilities using shared transport and storage networks are the keys to cost reduction, according to the report. It recommends developing viable business models and immediate government action in spurring CCUS development and deployment along, arguing that it will have positive economy-wide implications. The Energy Voice welcomes the report, but does so with something of a boy-that-cried-wolf caution. It details how government reports in 2003 and 2007 led to nothing, and how funding committed in 2007 was later pulled, and that this process happened again, with funding promised in 2013 and withdrawn in 2015. The opportunity to become a global leader would surely have been in place in the 2000s, and may indeed still be now, but without following through on the latest report, the UK will find that the opportunity will vanish. One project seemingly ready for a push is the Acorn project in north-east Scotland.