U.K. gets serious about carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)

I’m happy to see this announcement by the U.K. industry secretary. Proving out CCS is my top priority — utility execs need to know how much it costs — both capital costs and operating costs. And of course we need to know if CCS works at scale – if we cannot count on it, we are in big trouble for future emissions.

· Four energy groups to bid for demonstration project

· E.ON’s Kent coal-fired station may use system

The government has stepped up the pace of change in the battle against global warming by announcing a shortlist of four bidders pre-qualifying for its carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project and outlining a proposed new legislative framework for “clean coal”.

Among the bidders are E.ON, which wants to use CCS for its controversial Kingsnorth coal-fired station in Kent, and BP, which recently scrapped plans to develop a trial project in Scotland because ministers appeared to be moving too slowly to meet its own internal timetable. Scottish Power and Peel Power are also included.

John Hutton, the industry secretary, said CCS had the potential to capture 90% of carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations and its deployment would dovetail with a wider strategy which included renewable and nuclear generation.

Sadly, the U.S. has made no real progress towards proving CCS.