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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageYesterday, Amber Rudd MP the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the UK, gave a speech on the new direction for the UK’s Energy Policy. The core of the speech concerned making energy security a first priority because she said “it is fundamental to the health of our economy and the lives of our people”. The speech outlines the need to build a new low carbon energy infrastructure incorporating gas, renewables and nuclear. She reaffirmed an earlier UK commitment to shut down the older coal fired power plant by 2025. If achieved she says the UK will be the first developed country to deliver on a commitment to take (unabated) coal off the system.

Coming as it does ahead of COP21 this speech confirms the UKs commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The Secretary of State links energy security with climate change, “Energy security has to be the number one priority. But no responsible government should take a risk on climate change either. Because it’s one of the greatest long-term threats to our economic security. So the challenge we face is how we make sure that energy remains as the backbone of our economy, while we transform to a low carbon system. “

The speech makes consistent references to unabated coal, which in my mind suggests abated coal plants i.e. those with CCS will be part of the UK’s energy future. This I believe is reinforced in her discussion with respect to R&D and innovation. She states that “DECC funding for innovation is already supporting the development of transformative technologies here in the UK. In energy storage, in low carbon transport fuels, in more efficient ljosirting. These and many more examples, such as CCS, point to the creation of new industries and new jobs in the UK”.

The UK is leading the deployment of CCS in the Europe both on coal and gas. The Secretary of States speech I feel is supportive of the UK’s investment in CCS technology so far and points us to CCS being part of the UK’s energy future.