Scottish & Southern Energy seeking EU funding for carbon project

Additional Funding Required to Make CCS Projects Viable

Additional Funding Required to Make CCS Projects Viable

The utility company Scottish & Southern Energy has approached the EU for funding its Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at its gas fired power plant in Peterhead, Scotland.

The project envisages capturing the carbon emitted by one 385 megawatt turbine and pump it into a depleted gas field operated by Shell. Shell UK Limited and oil services company Petrofac will provide the required infrastructural and technical support including offshore storage and transport solutions.

The government opened up the competition for CCS funding of gas fired projects in November, which earlier was open to only dirtier coal plants. The move will help Britain meet its stated target of reducing emission reduction by 80 percent by 2050.

SSE chief executive Ian Merchant said: “f long-term targets for reducing emissions are to be met, CCS technology must be applied as widely as possible. We therefore welcomed the government’s decision to include the gas-fired generation plant in its CCS demonstration programme”.

Arguing that CCS projects will require technical innovation, he added: “however, the development of a commercial-scale CCS demonstration project presents significant challenges and will require appropriate levels of support from both the EU and UK government . . . Given the work already undertaken, the project can proceed at a pace at least equal to other CCS projects in Europe”.

CCS is being viewed as a vital development against reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emission and neutralizing climate change. The current project hence could attract funding from both the EU and the UK government as governments try to encourage investments in projects aimed at trapping carbon emission.

Gas powered plants typically emit one third of carbon compared to coal fired plants, making them an attractive alternative to reduce carbon emissions.

However, the flip side is that under current EU funding norms, low emission gas power plants receive less financial incentives, making installation of expensive CCS equipments unviable. Hence additional funding becomes all the more important for projects such as Peterhead.

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