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Carbon capture and storage -- new research from UKERC shows tough road ahead to realize potential
Date:4/18/2012

Government plans to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to reduce carbon emissions received a cautious welcome today. A new report concluded that most of the uncertainties facing these technologies can in principle be resolved.

Carbon capture and storage: realising the potential? is the culmination of a two-year project funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). The report assesses the technical, economic, financial and social uncertainties facing CCS technologies, and analyses the role they could play in achieving UK energy policy goals. Its publication today follows the announcement earlier this month of a new long-term strategy for CCS by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, including the re-launch of the UK's 1 billion competition to develop commercial scale CCS projects.

The report's lead author, Professor Jim Watson, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex says:

'We still don't know when CCS technologies will be technically proven at full scale, and whether their costs will be competitive with other low-carbon options. So it is vital that the Government's commitment to these technologies leads to several full scale CCS projects as soon as possible. Only through such learning by doing will we know whether CCS is a serious option for the future, and how the technical, economic and legal uncertainties currently facing investors can be overcome'

The report draws lessons from history, and concludes that previous technologies have faced similar challenges to those affecting CCS technologies today. In the past, such uncertainties have been resolved sufficiently for these technologies to succeed. While care is needed when learning from history, the findings offer some optimism that, given the right actions by government and industry, the uncertainties surrounding CCS can also be dealt with.

But even if rapid progress is made with the UK's re-launched demons
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Contact: Charlotte Knight
charlotte.knight@ukerc.ac.uk
44-207-594-1573
UK Energy Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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