UK Government publishes the Delivering Clean Growth CCUS Taskforce Report

The UK Government has published the Delivering Clean Growth: CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce Report. This is an independent report by the CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce setting out the industry’s view on how best to progress carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) in the UK, in order to enable the UK to have the option of deploying CCUS at scale during the 2030s, subject to costs coming down sufficiently. This report contains a number of recommendations which will support the wider deployment of hydrogen into heat and transport sectors.

The CCUS Task Force report explains that Hydrogen can be used by industry and other large gas consumers for both power and heat to reduce their on-site emissions, either by blending hydrogen into the existing natural gas networks or by replacing the natural gas with hydrogen. In transport, hydrogen with CCUS could be an enabler for decarbonising the transport fleet, including trucks, trains and shipping. Longer term, it may also offer the potential for the UK to lead the “green” transformation of the shipping industry. The CCUS Taskforce report contains four key messages for Government

1.       There is a need to recognise the CCUS opportunity and the urgency of acting now in order to deliver CCUS at scale, at lowest cost.

2.       CCUS can unlock value across the economy to enable low carbon industrial products, decarbonised electricity and gas, a hydrogen economy, greenhouse gas removal, and new industries based around utilising CO2

3.       Need for viable business models to move the technology to a sustainable commercial footing, recognising that different business models will be needed for CO2 capture plants in each sector, for example, to develop hydrogen, industrial capture and possible power projects.

4.       CCUS can already be deployed at a competitive cost, and that CCUS should be established in clusters to maximise potential cost reductions from economies of scale and to realise the cross-sectoral value of CCUS.

 

To progress action on these key messages the CCUS Task Force set out a sixteen further recommendations on actions to be taken including:

–        1. Government to publish the CCUS Deployment Pathway by the end of 2018, including a commitment to have at least two carbon capture, usage and storage clusters operational from the mid 2020s.

–        3. Government to publish a policy framework and criteria to enable and prioritise CCUS clusters in the first half of 2019.

–        7. Government to support the timely achievement of an exemption to the Gas Safety (Management) Regulations (GS(M)R) specification to enable a higher blend of hydrogen to be included in the gas distribution and transmission networks, and to consider developing a policy that requires including a steadily rising percentage of hydrogen (produced by low carbon methods) in gas supplied to customers.

–        8. Industry, Government and the regulator to develop the mechanisms by which hydrogen projects could be funded through the RIIO 2 mechanisms before gas distribution networks business plans are due for submission (September 2019).

–        16. Industry to lead the creation of the decarbonised product mark, a clean industrial products certification system, to certify the low carbon USP of decarbonised industrial products and Government to encourage their domestic use and global export.

At the launch the Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, stated that the pressing challenges of climate change require serious ambition and serious action. She highlighted that CCUS is needed to meet the global climate ambitions agreed through the Paris Agreement in 2015, and although it remains a pre-commercial technology, there is a genuine opportunity for the UK to become a global technology leader for CCUS, working internationally with industry and governments to drive down the cost of deployment.