CCS could create jobs and reduce bills.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is of interest in Scotland given Peterhead’s bid to host a demonstrator project. Even if the Scottish Government is obsessed by renewables, Scotland actually needs flexible power to plug the gaps caused by intermittent renewable energy

The roll-out of CCS technology would generate a large number of jobs, create a market worth £15-35bn by 2030, and reduce household electricity bills by £82 a year, according to a joint report published by the TUC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA). The report – The Economic Benefits of CCS in the UK – shows that a number of actions need to be taken by government in the immediate future to boost CCS and deliver significant benefits to the UK economy in the lifetime of the next parliament and beyond.

Key findings from the report include:

  • CCS can play a vital role in helping the UK meet its statutory target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. It has been estimated that without CCS, the cost of meeting this target will rise by £30-40bn per year.
  • Inclusion of CCS in the mix of low-carbon technologies would result in a 15 per cent reduction in wholesale electricity prices – leading to an average cut in household bills of £82 a year.
  • Each new-build CCS power plant would generate between 1,000 and 2,500 jobs in construction, with a further 200-300 jobs in operation, maintenance and the associated supply chain.
  • CCS could help the UK to retain existing industries, such as coal and gas power generation, and support vital energy-intensive industries (such as chemicals, steel and cement manufacture) which employ 800,000 people directly and in supply chains.
  • The total economic benefits of CCS could reach £2-4bn per year by 2030.

The UK is one of the best places in the world to develop CCS. But dithering by successive governments risks losing another energy technology abroad.

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