UK government backs carbon capture projects and launches biomass consultation

16 August 2022 | Muriel Cozier

Much-feted ‘green industrial revolution’ makes progress.

The UK government has shortlisted 20 projects for the next stage of the carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) cluster process. This development follows a commitment by the government to deploy CCUS in two industrial clusters by the mid-2020s. It is anticipated that a further two clusters will be established during the 2030s.

During the final quarter of 2020, the government said that CCUS would be part of its green industrial revolution, meeting the ambition to decarbonise industry and remove 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030.

The HyNet cluster, covering North West England and North Wales, along with the East Coast Cluster in Teesside and Humber, have been selected as Track 1 Clusters for deployment by the mid-2020s. These clusters will be the first to be considered for support under the government’s CCUS Programme, which includes the £1 billion CCS Infrastructure Fund.

HyNet has been selected as a Track 1 Cluster.

The shortlisted projects will be considered for funding support to join one of these clusters, using carbon capture technology to help decarbonise their businesses. The government stressed that the list of projects – which covers power CCUS, hydrogen, and industrial carbon capture – is not the final list of projects receiving government support, and does not imply availability of funding for any or all of the shortlisted projects.

At the same time the government has launched a consultation on how to support the development of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). BECCS is said to offer the potential to produce home-grown energy with ‘negative emissions’.

The consultation, which is open until 7 October 2022, is seeking views in a number of areas, including how the government can attract private investment to accelerate development of the sector and the main design elements of the business model.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: ‘Today’s plans could create an entirely new industry in our country, using sustainable biomass in a way that absorbs harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With these reforms, we will boost domestically produced, cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to power Britain in the future.’

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