Can carbon capture and storage (CCS) play a role in Serbia’s energy transition? That’s what a delegation from the country were keen to find out when they visited the UK – and Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage – recently.
The group was headed by Serbia’s State Secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy and included the Assistant Minister of Mining and Energy, engineers from the state-owned energy company Elektroprivreda Srbije and project consultants.
The group’s visit was supported by a UK Government initiative, the Good Governance Fund, aimed, among other reform initiatives, at enabling Serbia to comply with international standards in the energy sector and providing technical assistance to develop projects addressing climate change and protecting the environment.
As part of their week-long, fact-finding trip the group had visited Drax power station in North Yorkshire and the now closed Longannet power station in Fife before arriving in Edinburgh on their last day in the UK. Both sites had been contenders in the UK’s CCS commercialisation competition, which was pulled in late 2015.
Since then, CCS has seen a renaissance across Europe as countries consider how best to meet climate targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Serbia, a European Union (EU) accession country, is currently bringing its governance structures, including energy policy, into line with the EU’s requirements so that it can join the Union. This includes rules and regulations that have underpinned the UK’s own transition away from fossil fuels.
During the meeting with SCCS, the Serbian visitors found out more about the principles of CCS, why Scotland is well placed to develop the technology and how the inclusion of CCS in the whole energy system can bring benefits across the wider economy, helping to decarbonise industry, transport and domestic heat as well as the electricity supply.
The group was also updated on the extent of CCS development internationally and the progress of both project and policy development in the UK. Finally, more technical presentations described opportunities for CCS to help reduce emissions from oil refineries and thermal power plant along with examples of international progress to date.
The delegation visited SCCS to understand more about the potential role that CCS can play in addressing climate change, the technical challenges in relation to implementing CCS on lignite and coal-fired power plants, CO2 storage requirements, pathways to delivering CCS and the latest views from the CCS sector.
The hosts and the delegates will now maintain contact in order to explore the potential for CO2 storage in Serbia and the surrounding region.
|Serbian delegation with members of the SCCS team at ECCI in September 2018. Photo: Romain Viguier|