The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has selected a consortium led by Aberdeen-based consultancy Pale Blue Dot Energy to deliver a project which will identify the next phase of sites deep under the seabed in UK waters to store CO2 emissions from coal and gas power stations and heavy industry plants.
The 12 month project is being delivered by the ETI and funded with up to £2.5m from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
It will progress the appraisal of selected storage sites towards readiness for Final Investment Decisions, de-risking these stores for potential future storage developers.
The project will make use of CO2 Stored, the UK’s CO2 storage atlas, which was created from the ETI’s UK Storage Appraisal Project and is now made publicly available and being developed by The Crown Estate and the British Geological Survey. The results will be shared with the CCS community at the end of the project.
Den Gammer, the ETI’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Strategy Manager, said: “Our previous projects have provided information about hundreds of potential stores under the seabed off the coast of the UK. This project will initially pick a “Top 20” of stores from the CO2Stored atlas and then from these select a final five which will be analysed in much greater detail to demonstrate that they are suitable, secure and viable for storing large amounts of CO2. This project will build knowledge and with that confidence in sites based in UK waters and provide an economic case for their further development. The project will include the investigation of stores which extend the use of capacity and infrastructure engineered in the £1Bn DECC CCS Commercialisation competition, off the coasts of Aberdeenshire and Yorkshire. Doing it now will help to reduce the risks to potential investors and encourage industry to develop capture projects onshore.”
Steve Murphy, Director of Pale Blue Dot Energy, said: “We are very excited about winning this work and are pleased with the exceptionally strong team we have assembled for this project. We have been working in CCS since 2007. Our Partners include CO2DeepStore, Axis Well Technology and Costain who together bring huge capability and experience to this project.”
The ETI has highlighted the importance of CCS and bioenergy to the UK’s future energy system in a report published earlier this year which said that the UK can implement an affordable transition to a low carbon energy system by 2050 but that decisions taken in the next decade will be critical.
According to the ETI’s analysis, if either of these technologies do not feature it would at least double the cost of delivering climate change targets from around 1% of GDP to 2%. Another way of looking at it is the value of CCS or bioenergy to the UK energy system is £200bn each and if neither are developed it is really difficult to see how the UK would be able to meet its climate change targets.