April 3, 2008

Is Britain Ready For Carbon Capture and Storage?

By Tara Singh, Thomas Sweetman, Stuart Haszeldine

Is Britain Ready For Carbon Capture and Storage? introduces an innovative technology with worldwide potential for helping to solve our climate change problems. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) involves capturing up to 95% of the CO2 emitted from fossil fuel power stations, transporting it via pipeline or container before storing it securely underground in depleted oil or gas fields, coal seams or deep saline aquifers. Globally introduction of this technology could slash emissions by 28-50% by 2050 without which efforts to combat climate change will be significantly more expensive. Until recently the UK led the world in this critical technology.

Yet 2007 saw the loss of Peterhead, a project that would have been the world’s first full scale demonstration plant, and the number of commercial CCS propositions in the UK halved. This report examines exactly what happened and where the UK can go from here if we wish to maintain our lead in developing this technology. In the meantime with several new fossil fuel plants already on the drawing board, the report looks at how to ensure that any plants built before CCS is ready are compatible with it when it comes and so do not lock us into another generation of high emissions.


Tara Singh

Head of Environment & Energy, 2007-2008

Thomas Sweetman

Environment & Energy Research Fellow, 2008

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