Select Committee on Science and Technology First Report


163. The available evidence indicates that CCS could and should make a valuable contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and safeguarding energy security in the UK. It also appears likely that CCS technology could play a key role in mitigating CO2 emissions internationally and, more specifically, from China's and India's ever growing fleet of coal-fired power stations, providing that it can be deployed sufficiently rapidly. In order to meet this timescale, the development of CCS technology needs to be pursued with greater vigour than has been the case to date. In particular, multiple full scale demonstration projects are urgently needed and the UK should take advantage of the fact that it is especially well placed to take a lead in demonstrating offshore EOR and CO2 storage. The costs of CCS are comparable with—and have the potential to be lower than—other low carbon electricity generating techniques. Although renewable technologies for energy generation will be essential, especially in the medium to long term, the capacity of CCS to make a large contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in a short space of time could make it a very valuable tool for climate change mitigation.

164. There appear to be no insurmountable regulatory hurdles to CCS in the UK, although the Government needs to do its best to accelerate progress towards clarification of the relevant multinational environmental agreements, as well as putting in place an appropriate domestic regulatory regime. Capture readiness should also be made a requirement for statutory licensing of any new plant, both to facilitate the process of subsequent fitting of capture technology in the UK and to prove the concept for export to China and other countries.

165. Given sufficient impetus by the Government, UK industry could deploy CCS technology in a full scale test by 2009. However, UK industry is awaiting a financial framework and policy signal from Government to give the initial projects the go ahead. The Energy Review must provide these.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2006
Prepared 9 February 2006