Carbon capture and storage

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The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has unveiled a “green recovery pathway” for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, whilst creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Meanwhile, politicians and business leaders from the North West, along with SPEN, Cadent and Electricity North West, have launched an “energy masterplan”.
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The Balancing Mechanism – the flexibility market used by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) to correct imbalances between supply and demand - saw a large influx of smaller participants over 2020, both in terms of the number and capacity of active units, analysis from Cornwall Insight has revealed. The greatest growth came from aggregated units, which more than doubled in number from 20 to 45 as their combined active capacity rose by more than 87 per cent to around 1.7GW.
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A High Court judge has overturned the decision last year by then business and energy secretary, Alok Sharma, to award a development consent order for the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm being developed by Vattenfall. The judge said the secretary of state had acted unlawfully by failing to provide adequate justification for declining to consider the cumulative impacts of the onshore infrastructure for Norfolk Vanguard and its 1.8GW sister project, Norfolk Boreas, when granting planning permission for the former.
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Latest in Carbon capture and storage

Drax has announced its intention to submit a planning application later this month to equip two of the biomass units at its power station in Selby with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The company said the work could potentially begin in 2024, with the first unit becoming operational in 2027.
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Can the massive network infrastructure investment needed for net zero be delivered without creating adverse impacts on public engagement or the environment? In a new report, Utility Week and Hitachi ABB Powergrids, explore the challenge.
Analysis
Net zero is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system. This high-level report, in association with Microsoft and Accenture, explores how digital technology and partnership working can help the sector accelerate and scale up to deliver the transition affordably.
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The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has issued a call for evidence on greenhouse gas removal technologies, specifically direct air carbon capture and storage and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage which it considers to be the most developed options. It said natural solutions such as the use of forests as “carbon sinks” will play an important role in the UK’s climate change strategy and reducing emissions but will fall outside of the scope of the study.
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The government has promised to overhaul its planning policy framework for energy projects, which has not been updated for nearly a decade. The Energy White Paper, which was published on Monday, kickstarted a review of the energy National Policy Statement (NPS), which is set to complete by the end of 2021.
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The government has announced it is working with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) to explore how best to enable electric vehicles to take part in the Capacity Market. In an open letter to stakeholders, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it has also asked the ESO to look into the development of de-rating factors for geothermal and tidal generation.
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The lack of a clear strategy and high regulatory barriers are preventing the UK from the taking the lead on hydrogen and handing the first mover advantage to other countries in Europe, according to Aurora Energy Research. Utility Week speaks to research director Richard Howard about his findings.
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The CBI has urged Rishi Sunak to create new market subsidy regimes to spur the UK’s fledgling CCUS and hydrogen industries. In its submission to the Treasury’s spending review, the employers’ body has included a raft of measures to spur economic growth that also delivers the UK’s net-zero goals
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A new authority should be established to oversee the North Sea’s development and ensure “uncoordinated” offshore wind farm growth does not deprive hydrogen and carbon capture and storage infrastructure of access to seabed space, an influential right wing thinktank has urged.
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A group of twelve companies and organisations have submitted a bid for government funding to help create a zero-carbon industrial hub in the Humber region by 2040. The Zero Carbon Humber partnership said the project could reduce the UK’s total annual carbon emissions by 15 per cent, save businesses around £27.5 billion in carbon taxes over the next two decades, safeguard 55,000 existing jobs and create thousands more.
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The Climate Assembly’s recent report surprised many by showing that the public back even tougher climate change action than many politicians had assumed. The question now is how seriously their opinions will be taken in driving policy forward – especially the lack of appetite for nuclear and CCS to be part of the net-zero generation mix.
Analysis
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