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E.ON and ScottishPower get CCS funding

Greenwise Staff
15th March 2010
Energy companies E.ON and ScottishPower have been awarded a share of £90 million worth of Government funding to compete to build the first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant in the UK.

The Government has awarded two undisclosed sums to E.ON and ScottishPower as part of £90 million of CCS funding first announced in the Budget last year. The undisclosed sums will help fund the design and development stage of CCS demonstration plants at E.ON’s Kingsnorth power station in Kent and ScottishPower’s Longannet site in Scotland.

The funding announced by Department of Energy Climate Change (DECC) on Friday (March 12) means there are now three CCS projects in the UK receiving either UK Government or European Union funding.

In October it was revealed that the Hatfield coal-powered station in Yorkshire was set to receive £164 million of funding from the European Union (EU) to develop a CCS demonstration plant.

The Government has indicated that it wants to see a total of four CCS demonstration plants up and running in the UK in a bid to build the first commercial-scale ‘clean coal’ plant in the world.

CCS — also known as CO2 sequestration — is a process whereby CO2 is captured from gases produced by fossil fuel, compressed and then transported and injected into deep geologic formations for permanent storage.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the two awards demonstrates the Government’s commitment a “breakthrough technology” that had the potential to support “tens of thousands of jobs and bring billions into the economy.

“CCS is the only technology that tackles carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations, and given the world’s dependence on coal, is a vital technology to securing the world’s future energy needs and tackling climate change," he said.

Both ScottishPower and E.ON welcomed the announcement.

“We are delighted to have been selected for the next critical stage of the Government’s competition,” said Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, which has already developed a prototype carbon capture unit at its Longannet Power Station in Fife.

“This funding will now enable ScottishPower to take the technology from concept to design stage. It will tell us exactly what we need to know so that we can quickly build this new and essential technology.

“It also puts the UK back at the head of the pack when it comes to delivering full-scale commercial CCS on a global stage.”

E.ON UK’s chief executive Dr Paul Golby said it was “heartening” to see “real movement” on CCS development in UK.

“We should always remember that the long game with CCS is not just about Kingsnorth, it’s about a worldwide battle against climate change,” he said.

DECC said the studies would be used by project developers to refine initial plans and reduce technical risk, so that more detailed project plans can be drawn-up and costed.

A bill currently being considered by Parliament introduces a first-of-a-kind levy to support four CCS demonstrations in the UK. The Government will launch a competitive process for the three other projects by the end of 2010, provided the levy is passed.

Related links:

E.ON and ScottishPower get CCS funding
ScottishPower's Longannet plant in Scotland has been chosen to receive Government funding to design and develop commercial-scale CCS
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