Peterhead CCS project gets go ahead

Some good news on the energy front today. And no, I don’t mean the respective cabinets lining up in Aberdeen to parade their different oil industry scenarios!

The UK government announced that the Peterhead CCS project, a joint venture between Shell and SSE is to be awarded funding for a front end engineering and design (Feed) study. The Feed study will see detailed engineering and planning processes completed before a final decision is made on whether either of the CCS projects will move forward to the construction phase.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “This project envisions a cleaner, greener future for the North Sea and will support thousands of green jobs.”

Labour shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex said “after months of delay” the signing of the Feed study contract is “a welcome step in the right direction”. He added it is “vital” that the contracts for difference investment mechanism “works for CCS” and that “the government must demonstrate their commitment to CCS with real leadership and engagement or risk losing the UK’s lead in this technology”.

It is certainly long overdue after the false starts at Longannet, but still some way from a commercially viable power station.

IPCC_CCS_chart_430

 

The importance of CCS technology is that it could provide a long term future for fossil fuel power stations that provide an important balance to the Scottish Government’s renewables strategy.

Norway’s hydro power does this job for Denmark and although it is possible to do the same for Scotland, this is looking increasingly unlikely as an interconnector to England looks like a better bet for them. Another option is a proposed 1,000km undersea cable from Iceland. That has come a step closer after the Icelandic Parliament gave the go-ahead to further studies. However, there is still considerable opposition in Iceland and the £4bn price tag is significant, albeit probably still cheaper than offshore wind.

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