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Economic Analysis of UK carbon capture, utilisation and storage report launched

The Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) have published a report written by international engineering consultancy Afry and Cambridge Econometrics on the economic impact of scaling up carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) in the 2020s. It also looks at the funding required to deliver this and the lessons that can be learned from offshore wind deployment in the 2010s.

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CCSA Economic Analysis of Uk Carbon Capture Report
CCSA Economic Analysis of Uk Carbon Capture Report

The report explores the impact of rolling out CCUS in the 2020s under two scenarios.

The first scenario under the Government’s Ten Point Plan scenario looks towards capturing 10 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 a year by 2030, before scaling it up in the 2030s.

The second scenario looks at the Climate Change Committee (CCC) Balanced Net Zero Pathway which models capturing 22 Mt of CO2 a year by 2030, before tripling capacity in 2030s.

Using Cambridge Econometrics’ E3ME model, the CCSA report looks at the economic benefits of CCUS deployment in the 2020s. The CCC scenario could see up to ten thousand new jobs created in the mid-2020s in the UK’s industrial heartlands and give the UK early mover advantage in the global CCUS race, creating export opportunities and with this, a potential 50,000 additional jobs. This level of deployment would also help to safeguard more than 50,000 jobs in iron, steel, cement, chemicals and refining – that could otherwise be at risk.

The report also looks at the annual funding requirements to deploy CCUS at the necessary scale to deliver these two scenarios by 2030 – which ranges from £1.2bn under the Ten Point Plan scenario to £2.6bn under the CCC scenario.

In the 2010s the renewable power sector, and in particular offshore wind, benefited from long term annual funding envelopes known as the Levy Control Framework, which is currently set at £8.6bn for 2020/21. This long-term certainty drove deployment and cost reductions in the 2010s, so there is precedent for decarbonisation spending at this level to successfully develop new industries that will be crucial for the net zero transition.

Ahead of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, the report also considers what lessons can be learned from offshore wind support ten years ago to build a similarly successful CCUS industry in the UK. It concludes that there is an immediate need to de-risk CCUS today, which requires visibility of a long-term funding framework up to 2030 to deliver CO2 capture targets. This needs to provide an equivalent to the Levy Control Framework which provided both funding visibility and consumer protection for renewables a decade ago.

The executive summary of the report “Economic Analysis of UK CCUS” can be found on the Unlock Net Zero Resources section.

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