The Government remains absolutely committed to CCS with a long term vision for wide-spread deployment of a cost-competitive CCS. That vision includes tens of GWs of installed capacity in the power sector and CCS on a variety of industrial applications, including the potential for clusters of power and industrial plants linked together by a pipeline network to transport CO2 to suitable storage sites offshore. 

The UK Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), http://www.decc.gov.uk/, through its Office of Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS), is tasked with facilitating the delivery of CCS in the UK and helping to promote its rapid deployment globally. On 3rd April 2012, DECC published its CCS Roadmap and launched a new CCS competition. The programme set out in the Roadmap includes:

  • The CCS Commercialisation Programme – the new competition – with £1bn in upfront capital funding and additional support during the operational period, subject to affordability, available through ‘Contracts for Difference’ as proposed in our Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme.
    http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/markets/electricity/electricity.aspx
  • £125m to support research and development including a new UK CCS Research Centre. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/ccs/innovation/innovation.aspx
  • Long term Contracts for Difference through Electricity Market Reforms to provide the stable financial incentives needed to drive investment in commercial-scale CCS in the 2020s.
  • Commitments, described in the Roadmap, to work with industry to address other important areas such as the development of skills and the supply chain; storage; and assisting the development of CCS infrastructure. 
  • International engagement focussed on sharing knowledge generated through the UK programme and learning from other projects around the world to help accelerate cost reduction.  The UK Government has also allocated £60m to the International Climate Fund to support capacity building in developing countries. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/ccs/international/international.aspx  

Most recently DECC also asked industry to establish a CCS Cost Reduction Task Force. The Task Force will identify opportunities to reduce the cost of deploying CCS over the longer term.
Information on different aspects of the UK’s CCS commitment can be found below:

Knowledge Sharing

The UK is committed to working with other countries to ensure that knowledge is shared and deployment of CCS accelerated. This includes engaging through multilateral bodies such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and learning from projects to accelerate cost reductions.
Through the first UK CCS Competition, the UK supported Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies at Longannet and Kingsnorth. These studies showed that commercial-scale CCS is technically feasible. The government made the complete engineering designs for the end-to-end chain of capture, transport and storage freely available to support the worldwide development of the technology. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/ccs/ukccscomm_prog/feed/feed.aspx

International Engagement

In order to address challenges to the global deployment of CCS, the UK supports a range of bilateral, multilateral and regional workstreams to share knowledge and address both practical and political challenges. http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/ccs/international/international.aspx.    
In April 2112, the UK hosted the 3rd Clean Energy Ministerial http://www.cleanenergyministerial.org/, where the UK Government announced £60m to the International Climate Fund to support capacity building in developing countries. The UK also supports research and development activities through the UK Research Councils and through membership of, for example, the International Energy Agency’s Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme.

R&D Programme in CCS in the United Kingdom

CCS-related activities in the UK include research, applied R&D, pilot-scale development and demonstration, as well as the development of the legal and regulatory frameworks necessary to support the commercial deployment of CCS. These activities are supported by a number of agencies, partnerships and government departments as follows.  
The £125m R&D and Innovation Programme is delivered via for four main bodies: DECC, the Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board and the Energy Technologies Institute and is comprised of:

  • c£40m for fundamental research and understanding. This includes £13m for a new UK CCS Research Centre, bringing together over 100 of the UK’s top CCS academics.
  • c£30m for component development and applied research. This includes a £20m Innovation Competition which was launched in March 2012 and is targeted at the development and demonstration of technologies associated with CCS.
  • c£55m for pilot-scale demonstrations (c5-10MWe).

The Research Councils UK Energy Programmewww.rcuk.ac.uk/energy, funds the fundamental and innovative CCS research to help make this technology viable, trains the next generation of skilled people to deploy it and helps shape the policies that will accelerate it from small-scale demonstration to full-scale deployment. Support has grown in scale over recent years and now covers a large portfolio of projects covering many major grants, consortia, networking and capacity building activities in universities and research institutes, usually in partnership with industry and other stakeholders. The Energy Programme is the major sponsor of the new UK CCS Centre (www.ukccsrc.ac.uk) which provides a national focus point for CCS research in order to bring together the user community and academics to analyse problems, devise and carry out world-leading research and share delivery, thus maximising impact.

Examples of other research consortia underway are on CCS for natural gas, potential ecosystems impacts of geological carbon storage, multi-scale whole CCS systems modelling, capture technologies and transport pipelines. Investments have been made to develop links with China in research in CCS technologies and cleaner fossil fuels. An Engineering Doctorate Centre in Efficient Fossil Energy Technologies is working with many industrial partners to develop engineering research leaders to tackle the CCS challenges. Many of the projects also look at public engagement aspects of CCS. The Research Councils support institutes which carry out important CCS research such as the British Geological Survey.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), http://www.innovateuk.org/, is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The TSB stimulates technology-enabled innovation in the areas that offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity. Low-carbon energy generation and supply, and particularly CCS, is a priority area identified by the TSB for investment and support for applied R&D and pilot plant demonstration. In 2009, the TSB and the UK government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change jointly funded a number of collaborative R&D projects in CCS with grants totalling around £15m. The funded projects focused on a range of technologies including advanced CO2 capture, development of CO2 monitoring devices and technologies to improve plant efficiency, essential in minimising the penalties of CO2 capture. The largest individual project funded is the advanced amine-based post-combustion capture pilot plant project valued at around £20m, with £6m coming from public sector which is now fully commissioned and running amine trials. This pilot plant is one of the largest pilots in Europe. The TSB has also funded a number of smaller feasibility studies looking at earlier stage R&D in areas such as alternative uses of CO2, algae capture, and CO2 storage and transport which were completed in 2010/11.
In 2011 the TSB funded further projects up to a value of around £4m in areas of CO2 storage and monitoring, novel gasification, advanced materials for CCS plant and CO2 utilisation. Additional feasibility studies in next generation technologies were also funded.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), http://www.energytechnologies.co.uk, is a limited liability partnership between the UK government and international industrial companies with a strong focus on energy. The ETI has an integrated CCS programme aimed at developing technologies for UK application to help it meet its 2020 to 2050 CO2 reduction targets.  
Activities include:

  • a major CO2 storage appraisal project (completed in 2011) which provides a realistic, defensible and fully auditable assessment of potential CO2 storage capacity in the UK;
  • a study of UK requirements for storage MMV was completed in 2010 and a call for proposals launched in 2012 for a technology development and demonstration project focused on marine monitoring;
  • identification of key ‘next generation’ capture technologies with the potential for lower cost, performance impact and environmental footprint;
  • a technology development and demonstration project in pre-combustion coal was launched in 2011 and a second project for post-combustion gas is expected to be launched in 2012. These aim to accelerate technology development to enable commercial application in the 2020s (‘second wave’ technologies) and 2030s (‘third wave’);
  • a study to investigate the techno-economic performance of CCS combined with biomass (co-firing and 100% biomass), to be completed in 2012;
  • a project was launched in 2012 to develop a whole-chain CCS modelling tool-kit, aimed at improving understanding of operational issues for future CCS systems. A commercial tool is expected to be available in 2014;
  • a project has been launched to assess the viability of mineralisation in a UK context (completes in 2012).

CCS Project Activities

CCS Commercialisation Programme

The Government launched its CCS Commercialisation Programme on 3rd April 2012 http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/emissions/ccs/ukccscomm_prog/commercialise/commercialise.aspx. The CCS Commercialisation Programme represents one of the best offers in the world, with £1bn in direct funding support for the design and construction of CCS projects and projects also able to benefit from the reforms being made to the electricity market to bring forward investment in low-carbon electricity generation, including a CCS Feed-in-Tariff (based on a ‘Contract for Difference’).
Through the construction and extended operation of commercial-scale CCS plant, the CCS Commercialisation Programme will:

  • Generate learning that will help to drive down the costs of CCS;
  • Significantly reduce the remaining technology risks;
  • Test and build familiarity with the CCS specific regulatory framework;
  • Encourage industry to develop suitable CCS business models; and
  • Contribute to the development of early infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage.

A number of consortia and companies have expressed an interest to participate in the competition. The deadline for submission of bids is 3 July 2012 and the Government plans to announce award decisions in the autumn of 2012. This will be followed with contract negotiation and commencement of studies or construction will be in the period 2012 – 2016.

Advanced Integrated CCS Projects

Don Valley Power Project (formally Hatfield Project) – South Yorkshire, UK. This capture-only project is developed by 2Co Power (Yorkshire) Ltd (formerly Powerfuel Power Ltd) and will capture up to 5Mt/a of CO2 from a 900MWe coal-fired power station. 2Co Power has entered agreements with the UK National Grid to develop the transport component and with other stakeholders for the storage component (North Sea). This project is part of the Yorkshire Forward initiative and was awarded €180m as part of the EEPR. Project operation was originally scheduled to begin in 2014. The project completed the FEED study for the capture part and significant process was made on the storage site characterisation. 

Current CCS Pilot-scale Activities

Ferrybridge CCPilot100+ - West Yorkshire, UK. This project will test CO2 capture at Ferrybridge power station, capturing up to 100tCO2/day on a 5MWe slip-stream of the plant. Following completion of its construction phase, the Ferrybridge Carbon Capture Pilot (CCPilot100+) was launched on 30 November 2011 as a collaborative project between Government and industry. The project will test amine-based post-combustion capture (PCC) technology on a real working power station. The test programme will run during 2012 and 2013 to optimise the process and components, and develop performance models. http://sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/sse_ferrybridge.html

Aberthaw Carbon Capture Pilot Plant – South Wales, UK. This is a privately funded 3MWe pilot project that will test amine-based post-combustion capture technology supplied by Cansolv on RWE nPower’s Aberthaw coal-fired power station in Wales. It will capture around 50tCO2/day. The plant will open in 2012. http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/2756/rwe/innovations/power-generation/clean-coal/co2-removal-uk/

E.ON Combustion Test Facility (CTF) – Ratcliffe-on-Soar, near Nottingham, UK. This is a 1MWth facility which has been operated as an advanced simulator of all types of combustion for around 20 years. In that time, both its range of capabilities and measurement techniques have continued to increase to make it one of the world's most flexible test facilities. It has conducted test campaigns on fuels including petroleum coke, bituminous coal, lignite, straw, wood, torrified biomass and a wide range of liquid fuels. The facility can run on 100% coal, biomass or liquid fuel, or any binary combination between these.

The CTF added oxy-fuel combustion capability in the mid-2000s. The basis for design was to ensure that fuel was burned in real recycled flue gas (two streams, one of which transports the fuel to the burner) and at thermal conditions identical to what would be encountered in a full-scale oxy-fuel boiler, from burner to stack. It has continued to be upgraded to improve the system since then, in particular to allow the degree of oxygen enrichment in both the primary and secondary recycle streams to be increased markedly. The CTF has carried out a wide range of test characterisations, assessing, in particular

  • the formation and destruction of pollutants such as NOx, SOx and CO and their interaction with flame parameters (O2 enrichment and placement);
  • the corrosion behaviours of both common and advanced boiler materials in the corrosive atmospheres associated with oxy-fuel combustion;
  • the impact of fuel quality on the above.

A number of oxy-fuel projects have been carried out with funding from the European Commission and UK government and results are available in the public domain (e.g. for the Research Fund for Coal and Steel ‘ASSOCOGS’ Project or the UK TSB-funded ‘OxySOx’ Project).

The CTF offers a unique capability to burn, under advanced oxy-fuel conditions, a huge range of fuels and to characterise the thermal, chemical and corrosive behaviour of the process.  

Renfrew Oxycoal 2 Pilot Project – Renfrew, Scotland. This oxy-fuel pilot project at Doosan Power System’s Clean Combustion Test Facility in Renfrew was started in December 2007. The project, a 40MWth oxy-fuel test rig adapted specifically for testing oxy-fuel capture technology (on pulverised coal) and applicable to both new and retrofit supercritical boilers, completed the test programme in early 2011.

Testing of the 40MWth oxy-fuel burner took place under realistic operating conditions and included testing adaptation from air firing to oxy-fuel firing. Following the successful test programme, it was concluded that the technology could be used on commercial-scale plants. 

Links to CCS-related Information in the United Kingdom

UKCCSC
This website describes CCS and the effect of CO2 emissions with the help of numerous diagrams, and also explains why the UK should use CCS.

POST Postnote on Rapid Climate Change 
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology explains how CO2 emissions can affect the climate and how CCS can be used to help.

The CCS Association
The CCS Association brings together specialist companies in manufacturing and processing, power generation, engineering and contracting, oil, gas and minerals, as well as a wide range of support services to the energy sector such as law, banking, consultancy and project management.

APGTF
The Advanced Power Generation Technology Forum is an industry-led stakeholder forum that provides a strategic focus on near-to-zero and zero emission technologies from fossil fuel, biomass and associated technologies.

The UK CCS Research Centre
Provides information on individuals working in the UK academic community who are currently participating in (or have recently completed) CCS projects.

Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS)
SCCS is the largest CCS research group in the United Kingdom. SCCS is able to provide a single point of coordination for all aspects of CCS research, ranging from capture engineering and geoscience, to social perceptions and environmental impact, through to law and petroleum economics.

The British Geological Survey
BGS provides expert services and impartial advice in all areas of geosciences, including CCS.

The Carbon Plan
This document sets out the UK Government's plans for achieving the emissions reductions committed to in the first four carbon budgets, on a pathway consistent with meeting the 2050 target.