Government axes Carbon Capture Competition

The Government has axed its £1bn ring-fenced Carbon Capture and Storage Competition.

In a short statement to the Stock Exchange, the Government said: “Today, following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, HM Government confirms that the £1bn ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage 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,” the statement concludes.

Public Sector Energy reported in September that energy firm Drax was announced it is withdrawing from the White Rose CCS carbon capture project.

The company said in September it will not be investing any more in the project to capture carbon emissions from a new coal fire power station in Yorkshire once its current work on the scheme has been completed.

Speaking today, the Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Dr Jenifer Baxter, said the end of the Carbon Capture Competition is very “disappointing news”.

“There have been concerns about the initial costs of this technology, but we will only be able to properly assess the viability of UK Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) upon the successful delivery of a demonstration project,” said Dr Baxter.

“Demonstration projects are a recognised requirement for full commercialisation of all large technologies, without such, new energy management technologies will remain in the shadows.

“If we are serious about building a clean and secure energy sector we need a diverse energy system, and CCS is central to this. In addition to the potential this technology has in making coal-fired generation low carbon, there is great promise for this technology to be used to retrofit gas-fired power stations in the future as well.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues