A carbon capture and storage (CCS) network on the east coast of England and Scotland could boost the UK economy by £160 billion, according to a new report.
The study by Summit Power claims such a network could link clusters of industry and power generation in Scotland, Teeside and the Humber region and then transport CO2 to offshore storage units.
It adds such a network would generate £5 for the UK economy for every £1 invested in the project, which would cost a total of around £34 billion.
The study claims it would help create or retain around 225,000 jobs, which is roughly the size of the UK’s current oil and gas industry and store approximately 1.5 GT of CO2.
It adds the network could be built in “steady and discrete” phases to make the project affordable.
“In the medium term, the strategic value to the UK in offering Europe-wide CO2 storage services is undeniable, and could more than double these numbers,” said Caledonia Clean Energy Project director, Stephen Kerr, who led the study.
“We’re already seeing Norway take a strategic lead in this area and it is vital the UK isn’t left behind.
“Strong leadership and a clear approach are now required to deliver carbon capture benefits in our economy, our industries and our climate,” added Kerr.
The chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), Luke Warren, said the report is one of the “most detailed cost benefit analysis” of CCS ever carried out in the UK.
“The value of CCS to the industrial regions of the UK is clearly understood and CCS projects have been proposed on the East Coast of England, Scotland and in the North West,” said Warren.
“It is critical that the government sets out its new approach to developing CCS in the Clean Growth Plan in the next few weeks, and follows this up with concrete actions that enable these projects to proceed, otherwise we risk losing out on the benefits of this vital technology.”