The Government needs to move away from vague and ambiguous targets and give a clear policy direction to ensure the UK seizes the industrial and decarbonisation benefits of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS), says the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee in a recently published report.
The report says CCUS is necessary to meet national and international climate change targets at least cost and argues the technology could play a significant role in supporting productivity growth outside London and the South East.
The UK is considered to have one of the most favourable environments globally for CCUS, but the technology has suffered from 15 years of turbulent policy support, including the cancellation of two major competitions at a late stage. No commercial-scale plant has yet been constructed in the UK.
Carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) is a set of technologies which can together capture carbon dioxide from waste gases, and either ‘lock up’ this carbon dioxide in long-term storage or use it in industrial processes.
The report notes that in the UK, failure to deploy CCUS could double the cost of meeting our targets under the Climate Change Act 2008, rising from approximately 1% to 2% of GDP per annum in 2050. Failure to deploy CCUS would also mean the UK could not credibly adopt a ‘net zero emissions’ target in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C aspiration.