From the TUC

Carbon capture: Budget rupture?

18 Oct 2010, by in Environment

Imagine the outcry if Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review somehow led to the cancellation of support for renewable power generation through the Renewables Obligation. Yet some press reports have said that the CSR may lead to the four Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects which are part of the Coalition agreement to be delayed.

Applying CCS to both coal and gas power plants is essential alongside renewables and new civil nuclear power if we are to meet our climate targets and show other countries how they can, too. It has been estimated that it would cost 70% more to meet emissions reduction targets without CCS.

And CCS is also absolutely necessary for those energy-intensive industries, like steel, cement, glass and refining which cannot avoid producing carbon dioxide. In the Aire valley, Yorkshire, a CCS network could capture 60 million tonnes of CO2 from a range of industrial and power emitters. CCS is comparable in cost with other low carbon electricity options and needs no more subsidy than wind generation. And CCS on biomass offers a negative carbon opportunity.

If the UK CCS projects go ahead, supported by the levy on electricity which was enacted with all-Party support in the last Parliament, and if they use UK technology, then this country can lead the world in CCS and generate more than a hundred thousand quality jobs through domestic projects and exports (based on a 10% share of the global market).

If they do not go ahead as planned the message to the world will be that the UK wants to talk about climate change but not do anything about it. If they do not go ahead we will turn our backs on perhaps £1bn of European funding earmarked for CCS, and on an industrial opportunity for which the UK through its excellent research base, engineering capacity and lead on developing CCS regulation is very well placed.

GUEST POST: Dr Mike Farley is chair of the TUC’s Clean Coal Task Group, and Director of Technology Policy Liaison with Doosan Power Systems. Mike is a member of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technology.

2 Responses to Carbon capture: Budget rupture?

  1. Tweets that mention Carbon capture: Budget rupture? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Oct 19th 2010, 2:04 am

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  2. David Stephens
    Oct 19th 2010, 2:49 pm

    LET’s BUILDING SURVIVABLE HOUSING TO SOLVE MOST PROBLEMS
    The existing spread-out human habitat cannot be adequately upgraded. Everything we do consumes energy. Present notions will leave our grandchildren with cold damp houses after their design life of 60 years, with no cheap fuel to heat or replace them.
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    In hotter summers, LETs will stay cool, absorbing solar gains to dissipate at night. In open country LETs can catch every breeze, unlike present airless towns.
    The concrete structure resists every destructive agent of woodworm, fire, flooding, earthquake,, etc, to last 1000 years and more, enabling civilisation to survive exhaustion of fossil and nuclear fuels.
    Carbon dioxide from buildings is ducted to a continuous greenhouse roof to be absorbed in growing food.
    Above the greenhouse is a line of wind turbines, using the buildings as foundations, much cheaper to instal and service than marine wind farms.
    LETs can be built quickly and start in a year. 500,000 apartments a year, at say £100,000, costing just £50 Billion a year can replace most UK houses by 2050, and solve the 3 million housing shortage in 6 years.
    Energy demand and CO2 emissions will reduce faster than nuclear power could increase supply, or CO2 captured and stored, making these short sighted fixes unnecessary.
    LETs are the only hope of worldwide 80% CO2 reduction, to mitigate climate change.
    Linear Eco Towns are appropriate in every climate worldwide, especially in rapidly developing countries, improving living conditions and health, avoiding huge CO2 increases.
    Millions of jobs can be created, using mainly local resources, to lead economies out of recession, towards low energy economies.
    Without waiting for international agreement to reduce CO2, countries have an incentive to build LETs quickly, to gain economic advantage in escaping from recession, while adapting to low energy, and reducing rocketing costs of fuel imports.
    LETs can be largely funded by local MultiBarter. See http://www.creditcrunch-climatechange.co.uk for more information and new ideas.