Energy: A technology competition that could save the planet
Thursday 22 March 2007
It's the technology that may do more than any other to save the planet - and Britain may be first to bring it on stream, Gordon Brown announced.
The Chancellor said the Government would launch a competition to build the world's first power station to use full-scale carbon capture and storage - known as CCS - a way of minimising the emissions of carbon dioxide, from fossil fuel burning, that are helping to cause climate change.
The technology involves trapping waste CO2 from power stations, liquefying it for transport and then pumping it into depleted North Sea oil and gas fields, deep in the seabed, where it would remain out of contact with the atmosphere. It is thought this could reduce carbon emissions from a given plant by up to 90 per cent.
Various bits of the technology have been tried and proven - the Norwegian company Statoil has successfully stored CO2 under the North Sea - but so far, no one has built an integrated plant which produces electricity, captures its emissions, transports them to a storage site and successfully sequesters them under the seabed. The competition is to build such a working plant, and the winner (or winners), to be announced next year, would be able to count on considerable government funding assistance.
Details were later given by the Trade and Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, who has ultimate responsibility for energy. "Carbon capture and storage has massive potential to allow us to meet our energy needs at the same time as cutting carbon emissions. It opens up huge possibility, not just for Britain but also for the world," he said.
"Rapid deployment of CCS technology in growth economies such as China and India will be vital. This competition gives innovative UK industries the opportunity to become the leading exporters of CCS technology for the low carbon age."
Mr Brown unveiled several new green tax measures in his Budget. He announced that the climate change levy, which encourages energy saving by major industrial electricity users, would rise in line with inflation from April 2008.
He also announced rises in two more environmental taxes - the landfill tax, which is paid on waste going to rubbish dumps, and the aggregates levy, which is paid on sand, gravel and crushed rock.
Is CCS the world's only hope?
CCS has become the great hope of politicians and environmentalists wrestling with the threat of global warming. It is seen as the only solution to a phenomenon that will give climate change an enormous boost - the economic explosion in developing countries, led by China, powered by electricity produced in coal-fired plants. Over the next two decades China will build 600 coal-fired power stations, and by then it will have become the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter. The Chinese are going to build these plants; only by fitting CCS technology to them could their emissions be mitigated. One senior British politician said recently: "If China does not take up CCS, we are all done for."
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
lifeIt takes year-long dedication to get Selfridges ready for 25 December. And they're already working on plans for 2015...
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Police probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- < Previous
- Next >
£39000 - £425000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Newly Qualified ...
£30000 - £38001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A highly respecta...
£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Newcastle: Level 3 Teaching Assistant in...
£21500 - £40000 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education is th...