UK Government’s Announcement of up to £20bn for CCS


By Tim Dixon

15 March 2023

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has approved plans to invest up to £20bn in UK CCS over twenty years.

We welcome the announcement today by the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer that the UK government will invest up to £20bn in UK CCS over twenty years, as part of a “Clean Energy Reset”. This is the most the UK has ever invested in CCS, and should allow the lead UK Cluster projects to proceed to investment decisions and construction, and the other cluster projects to make progress towards the same. This should enable the UK to realise CO2 capture and storage for the first time in this country.

From a personal perspective, having been associated with the first government decision in 2007 to support a demonstration project which was then not realised, and then having lived with the roller coaster ride since for potential UK demonstration projects, including having to answer to a COP21 UNFCCC Side-event audience in Paris in 2015 just two weeks after the UK Treasury suddenly pulled the two UK demonstration projects at late stages, I feel a greater sense of relief that the UK government has made this announcement today. I applaud all those who have stuck with it over the years in the UK, especially the leadership of the CCSA who never gave up being constructively supportive of government and companies. Well done to the team at UK Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, the UK Treasury, to UK CCS industry, and to the UKCCSRC research base that kept CCS knowledge growing ready for deployment (at our last GHGT conference in Lyon in 2022 the UK were the 3rd highest country out of the 39 countries submitting abstracts). Congratulations to all involved.

The UK has been a member of IEAGHG since the start in 1991, and IEAGHG looks forward to supporting the UK in CCS deployment and to sharing internationally the CCS knowledge gained. We will be bringing international experts to the UK this year for our Risk Management Network meeting in Edinburgh, the Offshore CCS Workshop in Aberdeen in September and our members meeting in the autumn. Great opportunities to showcase UK CCS to international audiences. As the UK Climate Change Committee says, CCS is “essential” for the UK to achieve net-zero.

With the US Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022 raising the bar in terms of CCS incentives (I got to experience the excitement the Monday after the announcement, see IEAGHG blog 17 August), the European Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan in February 2023, and this UK announcement, new policies are significantly accelerating CCS deployment, which are what is needed for it to achieve its role in mitigating climate change. 

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