Is CCUS the key to unlocking hydrogen's contribution to a low carbon economy?
08 November, 2019
Carbon capture and storage remains firmly on the agenda for many countries globally, including Canada, Norway, the USA, but in recent years the deployment of CCUS has emerged as a more viable concept offering a new approach to climate change mitigation, according to a new report by the Energy Industries Council (EIC).
CCUS is a central pillar of the UK Government’s industrial strategy, clean growth and low carbon policies.
Mirroring developments in offshore wind, carbon, capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) also offers significant diversification opportunities for companies within oil and gas, given the synergies between the two sectors.
Speaking at the CCUS19 conference in London this week, Stuart Broadley, EIC CEO , said: “We need to learn the lessons from offshore wind more than decade ago, when opportunities were missed by the UK government to set a clear policy to invest to become a world leader in offshore wind technology, leading to a largely imported technology today.
“We have missed the boat with offshore wind, but we today have the exciting chance to be a primary global technology player in CCUS and hydrogen, and we should use the COP26 platform in November 2020 in Glasgow to declare this intention to the world.”
The UK’s clean growth strategy identifies hydrogen as a key potential to meeting the UK’s 2050 climate targets. Production of low carbon hydrogen at scale will depend on the deployment of CCUS.
The EIC Insights report: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage provides a detailed overview of the technologies and processes across the CCS sector, evolution of hydrogen and how CCUS can unlock its potential, in addition to an in-depth look at the leading projects and developments within the sector.
Key findings include:
- Carbon capture could be the single largest contributor to decarbonisation with an emission reduction potential of 23m tonnes of C02 per year by 2050
- CCUS exports could potentially be worth multiple billions of pounds per year in the UK by 2050, supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the engineering, procurement and construction services sectors.
- A total of nineteen large-scale CCS facilities are in operation around the world, with four under construction and a further twenty projects in the development phase
Oliver Barnes, EIC Senior Analyst and author of the report, commented: “CCUS can play a critical role across the UK economy helping to decarbonise industry; generate low carbon power; and enable the production of low carbon hydrogen at scale. It provides an opportunity for the UK to develop a domestic supply chain, utilising the expertise of the existing oil and gas industry and new UK-based innovative carbon capture technologies, potentially enabling the UK to become a global leader in CCUS.”
The next decade will be crucial for the industry, with a substantial number of projects preparing to move forward from conception and planning into construction and operation.
With a net-zero target now adopted by the UK, CCUS will enable the UK to realise these climate ambitions and support UK industrial regions to transition to a low carbon economy.