Climate change minister Claire Perry is convening a taskforce next month to deliver carbon capture and storage plants more cost effectively.
Perry told a House of Commons debate on CCS last week that the Cost Challenge Taskforce, which was unveiled in the clean growth strategy, was being constituted ‘rapidly’.
She said that the taskforce aimed to repeat the success of a similar group, which had helped to identify ways of delivering offshore windfarms more cheaply.
The climate change minister, who signaled her strong commitment to carbon capture, also told Parliament that she will personally chair a separate new CCS council with industry.
“It is very much a personal commitment and something I strongly believe is exceptionally important.”
“We are making a fundamental doubling down, as it were, on our commitment, but the guideline is that we must come up with a more cost-effective way of doing CCS.”.
“We want the prize of global leadership in the area: we want to be the people who break the deadlock, deploy CCS in the UK and capture the export opportunities.”
However shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead expressed doubt that the £100m, which was earmarked for developing CCS in the CGS, was sufficient.
He said: “I am not sure whether the £100 million—or, to be precise, up to £100 million—that has been set aside for the next phase of the development of carbon capture and storage will be remotely sufficient to get us where we want to go.”
Whitehead also said that confidence in the fledgling CCS sector remained low as a result of the ‘shameful’ cancellation of two pilot projects in 2015.
“It spread a pall of doubt and concern across the whole of the industry about whether carbon capture and storage has a future, whether it is worth investing in and whether confidence can be restored to make it go forward, as we all want.”