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Minister’s commitment to CCS ahead of “exciting year”

Commitments made by the Government to Carbon Capture Storage were “genuinely game changing”, Humber Zero’s Project Director told the industry’s annual conference.

Jonathan Briggs, chair of the Carbon Capture Storage Association, said delegates faced an exciting year ahead.

“The world is coming together to meet the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“CCS is not just an option but an imperative. That makes the Prime Minister’s announcement of a 10-point plan and Green Revolution so timely.

“We now have interim targets and milestones to be storing 10 million tonnes annually by 2030; establishing four clusters capturing CO2 within a decade; and producing 5 giga watts of hydrogen within the next 10 years.

“As members of the CCSA, we see this level of commitment as genuinely game-changing  and sets us on a path to establish a new industry, one we have been collectively working towards for some time and, if we get it right, one that will bring tremendous opportunities, jobs and benefits to the UK.”

He said everybody was working together with Government to help define a shared vision and a public / private sector partnership to make the goals a reality.

“I believe there is a really exciting year ahead. A huge amount of work needs to be done with three primary objectives.

“Firstly, we need to create business models and markets to ensure the UK is a true leader in CCS.

“Secondly, we need to collectively deliver lasting benefits to the UK, not just in reducing CO2 emissions but contributing to wider aspirations – building local supply chains, developing skills and expertise and capitalising on our unique storage assets we have available to us in the North Sea.

“Finally, in one year Glasgow hosts COP26. What better opportunity to showcase the benefits CCUS can play internationally to support net zero electricity systems, low carbon industries, clean hydrogen, and negative emissions.”

Jonathan introduced Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng MP who reinforced the Government’s commitment to CCS.

“We have been very clear all this year that any recovery from COVID-19 must be a clean, resilient and sustainable one and we are fully committed to building back greener,” the Minister said.

“Now, in that conviction and in that  challenge, we see both CCUS technology and low carbon hydrogen as key enablers to help us achieve that green recovery and also help us particularly to achieve our net zero carbon emission target by 2050.”

CCUS and low carbon hydrogen were featured prominently in the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan for a green revolution, in the national infrastructure strategy and in the spending review.

“With CCUS the ambition is very clear. We intend to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide every year by 2030 and we have committed ourselves to investing £1-billion to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid 2020s and a further two by 2030,” said Mr Kwarteng.

“This will not only drive technological innovation but also help create 50,000 jobs in areas such as Humber, the North East, the North West, Scotland and Wales.

“This support – coupled with geographical advantages and worldwide expertise – means the UK is in a very good position to be a global leader in this technology.

“We are focusing particularly at the moment on creating new business models to help support the development of CCUS in the UK and particularly to help unlock the private sector investment, without which it will be very difficult for us to fully capitalise and benefit from this innovation,” said Mr Kwarteng.

The Government would publish its hydrogen strategy next year, including the plan to develop 5 giga watts of low carbon hydrogen capacity by 2030.

“I am very happy to hear what organisations think about the plan to develop two potentially world-beating industries that will not only help us hit the net zero targets but also help us level up, revitalise old industrial heartlands, and create jobs and economic opportunity in these areas.”

The Minister was one of a number of keynote speakers at the two-day, online event.


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