UK carbon capture potential to 2013

 UK carbon capture potential to 2013
Published: 05 February 2014

Tagged Under: Carbon capture UK 

Pursuing CCS technology in the UK could create a new industry worth GBP15bn-GBP35bn by 2030, employing tens of thousands of people. It could also eventually cut energy bills and safeguard jobs in energy-intensive industries such as the cement sector, according to the study jointly published by the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The cost of meeting emissions targets in the UK is expected to rise by GBP30-40bn annually if CCS is not deployed. Analysts have also predicted that as target values are lowered, energy-intensive industries such as the cement, chemical, refining and steel industries will be considerably impacted. At present, these industries contribute around GBP96bn to the national economy. According to the report, the deployment of CCS will support these industries, securing around 800,000 jobs, either direct or in the supply chain.

In addition, as new CCS plants are built, further jobs will be created. The study estimates that each plant will create 1000-2500 during its construction jobs with 200-300 additional jobs during its operational life.

Furthermore, the use of CCS could reduce household energy bills by GBP82 per year as wholesale electricity prices are forecast to drop 15 per cent.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: "CCS offers a way to meet our environmental targets, while creating thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs and transforming regional economies. New CCS plants would create thousands of new jobs and safeguard many more in energy-intensive industries such as cement, steel and chemicals.

What is certain is that any vision of a large CCS industry will require billions in public and private investment that have so far not been forthcoming. The government has been promising sums ranging from GBP1bn to potentially GBP5bn for almost 10 years, but nearly all of the projects that have been brought forward have been withdrawn, as their feasibility has been questioned.