Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), an independent research partnership in which Heriot-Watt is a partner, has welcomed the announcement that the UK Government is making £2.5 million available for the further evaluation of CO2 storage sites beneath the North Sea.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has provided the funding through its Innovation Fund to help identify the next phase of storage sites, which will be suitable for the secure and long-term storage of CO2 captured at coal and gas power stations as well as heavy industry, such as steel and cement factories.
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director, said: "Today's funding announcement is a positive indication that DECC is planning ahead for a second phase of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) development, following what we hope will be the realisation of the UK's first large-scale demonstration projects, Peterhead and White Rose. It signals a strong commitment to seeing the development of CO2 storage sites in the UK move from theoretical to licensable.
"SCCS has been very much involved in identifying and characterising the UK's considerable North Sea storage assets, including work on the CO2MultiStore Joint Industry Project, and our Progressing Scotland's CO2 storage opportunities analysis. We believe the UK is unique in Europe in being able to offer around 70 billion tonnes of CO2 storage. This will be of huge benefit to high-carbon economies sited around the North Sea, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany and Belgium. Other European countries, such as Poland, will be able to connect to a North Sea CCS storage network, and we are working on progressing this opportunity through the EU's Projects of Common Interest.
"With our considerable experience in storage analysis both in the UK and globally, we look forward to bidding with commercial and academic partners to assist DECC and ETI in delivering this forward looking analysis."