In a speech at the Platts sixth annual carbon capture and storage (CCS) conference on Monday 27 February energy minister Charles Hendry set out the government's commitment to the technology. CCS is a mitigation technology that is considered essential in tackling global climate change, and ensuring a secure energy supply. CCS technology captures carbon dioxide from fossil fuel power stations and transports the gas via pipelines to offshore permanent geological storage sites such as depleted oil and gas fields.
Hendry outlined the three challenges to commercial deployment for CCS: reducing costs and risks; putting in place the market frameworks; and removing key barriers to deployment. Hendry commented that the government's programme of work to reduce costs will push CCS technology towards commercial viability. Currently there are no commercial-scale CCS plants in operation in UK. He added that the government's programme for taking the technology forward will be published shortly. This announcement follows publication of a contract notice in the EU's official journal on 24 February by the UK government that called for proposals for a variety of new projects to support the building of the UK's CCS plants.