Carbon capture and storage

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Brexit has pushed the UK to the “back of the queue” for developing interconnectors, Sir Ed Davey has claimed. The former energy and climate change secretary of state said that he “never found any European rules that got in the way” of the UK’s renewable energy push.
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The government has revealed details of the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, including its £265 million budget. While the bulk of subsidies will go towards offshore wind, £24 million has been ringfenced for floating offshore projects. Established technologies will share £10 million, with a cap of 5GW of capacity.
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Gas and power prices reached new record highs over the last few days as concerns over gas stocks for the coming winter fed through to the power market and amplified price spikes due to unusually low wind generation. An analyst for price reporting firm ICIS said the surge in gas prices seen over recent weeks and months is like nothing the company has ever witnessed in nearly three decades covering the market.
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As water companies publish their strategies to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2030, this Utility Week Insight Report in association with Mott MacDonald delves into the challenges they face in cutting emissions from energy whilst reducing bills and boosting resilience. We examine their different approaches to renewable generation, the difficulties of striking Power Purchase Agreements to deliver cheaper green power, and their concerns that new rules from Ofgem could scupper their decarbonisation plans.
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Changes to energy consumption patterns and the increasing prevalence of renewables will require more agile transmission and distribution infrastructure. Matt Brough of Burns & McDonnell looks at the role modular substations can play in this mix.
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Latest in Carbon capture and storage

Utility Week policy correspondent David Blackman examines the government’s call for evidence on how the Capacity Market could be redesigned to sift out high-carbon fossil fuel generation and prevent it from being baked into the energy mix for years to come.
Analysis
Gas turbines fuelled by hydrogen or fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be “essential” for creating a net zero energy system, according to analysis from Aurora Energy Research. In a new report, the consultancy forecast that the electrification of heating and transport will push peak power demand to 80GW by 2050, requiring large amounts of flexible and firm low-carbon generation to keep the lights on during extended periods of low renewable output.
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Blue hydrogen should not be considered a green fuel and, depending on the circumstances of its production, may actually have a greater impact on global warming than natural gas, a new study has suggested. The authors of the paper concluded there is “no role for blue hydrogen in a carbon-free future,” stating it is “best viewed as a distraction” that may delay urgently needed action to decarbonise energy.
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The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has advised the government to avoid “picking winners” among greenhouse gas removal technologies and to rapidly introduce market frameworks to support various options. The NIC wants the government to commit to deploying five to ten megatonnes of engineered removals of carbon dioxide by 2030, rising to between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
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Ensuring the safety and effectiveness of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) are the top two priorities for the public, recent government research has revealed. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s Sciencewise programme, commissioned Traverse to deliver a public dialogue to understand citizens’ attitudes towards CCUS.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has warned of tight supply margins over the coming winter, partly due the shutdown of the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations. The ESO gave the warning in an early version of its annual winter outlook released to help the energy industry and markets prepare for the season.
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Proposals have been unveiled by Sembcorp Energy UK and US firm 8 Rivers Capital to build the UK’s first net zero power plant at the Wilton International site on Teesside. The Whitetail Clean Energy project could be online by 2025 and Sembcorp Industries' chief executive has told Utility Week there is potential to build more at the site.
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Norwegian state-owned oil company Equinor has announced plans to build a further 1.2GW of hydrogen production facility in the UK, primarily to fuel the 900MW Keadby hydrogen plant. The company had already revealed plans to construct a 600MW autothermal reformer in Saltend to produce so-called blue hydrogen.
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Intergen has unveiled plans to convert its Rocksavage combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Cheshire to run on hydrogen, starting with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The power station at Runcorn near Liverpool would be supplied by the hydrogen network proposed as part of the HyNet North West project.
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Future Biogas has revealed plans to build new 25 biogas plants by 2028, all equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS), whilst installing CCS at 20 or more existing sites, including a number of the 10 biogas plants it already operates. Utility Week speaks to the company's chief executive Philipp Lukas.
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Drax has signed a deal with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to use the Japanese company’s technology for its proposed bioenergy with carbon capture and storage project. The firm is planning to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from two of the four biomass at its power station in North Yorkshire, with the aim of generating so-called “negative emissions”.
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