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Sandbag welcomes the publication of the Oxburgh report today, commissioned by the previous Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, showing the path towards a strong Carbon Capture and Storage industry in the UK.

The report claims that commercial CCS projects could be built for £85/MWh on a 15 year contract, below the current strike prices for offshore wind and nuclear, and recommends that the Government should:

  • support the development of clusters around for CCS for gas and industry

  • set up a new bodies to deliver CCS

  • establish a system for financially supporting CCS

This is a significant step towards the government defining a new CCS Strategy, since the CCS Competition was cancelled in November 2015.  The government must now act and set out its plan to deliver CCS in the United Kingdom, so that the country can deliver its share of the Paris Agreement and its own 2050 carbon emission reduction target.

Map of UK CO2 landing points (white labels) & offshore storage sites (yellow labels). The size of circles around storage sites indicates the proposed injection rate while the colours show the relative costs of offshore CO2 transport and storage (red indicates higher costs). Data sourced from ETI.

Sandbag welcomes the recommendation in the report for the creation of new government-owned companies, similar to those for the Olympics or Crossrail, who would develop the first stages of this strategically important asset.  However there are many details missing from the report and it is vital that the government now responds by setting out concrete policy to deliver CCS at pace.

Phil MacDonald, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation at Sandbag, commented:

CCS technology is both essential in the short term for cost-effective emissions cuts from the power system; essential for restoring Britain’s industrial base; and essential for the removal of atmospheric greenhouse gases needed to keep the world to no more than 1.5oC of warming, as agreed in Paris.

Using the evidence and recommendations in the Oxburgh report, it is now in the government’s hands to deliver a new strategy for CCS that ensures this technology provides this multitude of benefits to Britain in the years to come.

In particular, CCS can allow for low-carbon growth in industries such as cement and steel, vital for cutting UK emissions whilst increasing employment.

Note

The Oxburgh report was commissioned during the passage of the Energy Bill 2016. It brings together experts from across the House of Lords, the power sector and industry, first to determine if CCS is necessary, and second to determine how the government should support CCS. The report will be available to download from the Carbon Capture and Storage Association on Monday 12 September: http://www.ccsassociation.org/news-and-events/reports-and-publications/parliamentary-advisory-group-on-ccs-report/