UK ‘quietly’ cancels pioneering £1bn carbon capture and storage competition

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The Government has announced, in its Autumn Spending Review, that the £1bn funding for the UK’s long running carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition was cancelled.  This is, just six months before it was due to be awarded.  This will put an end to what could have seen key support confirmed for the first large scale CCS development project in the UK.

The statement from DECC states: “Today, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, HM Government confirms that the £1billion ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition is no longer available.  This decision means that the CCS Competition cannot proceed on its current basis.  We will engage closely with the bidders on the implications of this decision for them.”

Not surprisingly, the reactions from researchers, project developers and commentators has been one of anger, with Leigh Hackett, CEO of Capture Power (White Rose project) saying: “We are surprised and very disappointed by the Government’s decision to cancel the £1bn CCS Commercialisation Programme more than three years into the competition.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by other parties involved in the competition.  That said, the Government had previously announced its intention for the UK to be coal free by 2025, thereby alleviating the demand for such investment in CCS.

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