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British Task Force Recommends Fast-Track Carbon Capture and Storage

 July 19, 2018

A British task force said Thursday that carbon capture and storage is ready for deployment provided investments materialize by the early 2020s.

"After six months of intense discussions between a number of key carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) stakeholders, the message from today's report is clear: CCUS can already be deployed at a competitive cost, through the development of CCUS clusters in key U.K. regions," Luke Warren, the head of the British Carbon Capture and Storage Association, said in a statement.

The International Energy Agency described carbon capture and storage as a necessary addition to other low-carbon energy technologies meant to drive down global greenhouse gas emissions. The process involves capturing carbon dioxide from sources like power plants and storing it in such a way that it won't enter the atmosphere.

To meet the benchmarks outlined in the Paris climate agreement, the IEA said CCS "will not be optional."

It's been 20 years since the start of the first large-scale CCS project, at Sleipner in Norway. The United States, meanwhile, hosts the largest CCS project of its kind, the Petra Nova project in southwest Houston.

The British task force in a report to the government called for at least two storage facilities by the middle of the next decade. In order to meet guidelines outlined in federal climate change measures, the British sector needs to store at least 60 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, each year by 2050.

"Investment decisions need to be taken by the early 2020s at the latest if this is to be achieved," the report read.

The report said the United Kingdom is a world leader when it comes to tackling climate change. Natural gas or biomass electricity in coordination with storage could be used to complement the intermittency of renewables.

The recommendations received early support from the British oil and gas sector. Deirdre Michie, who heads the trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said storage would help diversify the British economy.

"With established infrastructure, an experienced workforce with relevant skills, and existing support for the work of the task force, the U.K.'s indigenous oil and gas industry is well-placed to support the development of carbon capture usage and storage," she said in an emailed statement. (UPI)

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