SCCS welcomes the findings of Summit Power’s new study, Clean Air Clean Industry Clean Growth, which provides a strong economic case for the development of a UK East Coast carbon capture and storage (CCS) network. The study illustrates that such a development could boost the UK economy by an estimated £160 billion between now and 2060.
Stephen Kerr, project director of the Caledonia Clean Energy Project who led the study, said that every £1 invested in an East Coast CCS Network could bring £5 to the UK economy. The study also finds that around 225,000 jobs – equivalent to the size of the UK oil and gas sector workforce – could be created or kept by investing in the network.
The report’s conclusions are timely as we await the publication of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which will set out the UK’s decarbonisation pathway to the 2020s and early 2030s. They point to the broad benefits that CCS can bring for the UK, far wider than the earlier narrow focus on low-carbon electricity. And it shows the value to the UK economy of CCS, reinforcing previous work by the Energy Technologies Partnership, Scottish Enterprise, our own partnership and others.
Summit’s study begins to answer the questions we raised in an open letter to Claire Perry, UK Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, last month, to which we await a response. We outlined concerns over the potential outsourcing of CO2 storage to other nations, such as Norway. And we pointed to the possibility of a return on investing capital in a CCS industry, which is borne out by Summit Power’s study.
Finally, the report reinforces the need to accelerate the delivery of CCS without further delay, and shows that it can be done by starting small and building out. By doing so, we will reap economic benefits and, as importantly, contribute to effective climate action.