COMMONS

Call for evidence on Carbon Capture and Storage

17 July 2013

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the potential to turn high carbon fuels into low carbon electricity. It involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from large sources such as fossil fuel power stations, transporting it, and then storing it in secure geological formations deep underground.

The International Energy Agency has suggested that CCS could deliver a fifth of the emissions reductions needed by 2050 and significantly reduce the costs of meeting emission reductions. DECC estimate that to achieve this, more than 3,000 CCS projects will need to be completed by 2050. To date, the demonstration of CCS has been limited both in the UK and internationally, with only eight large-scale integrated CCS projects globally and no CCS electricity generation demonstration projects at commercial scale anywhere. Incentives to test the cost-effectiveness of large-scale CCS have often been insufficient for industry to act and previous attempts by Governments to support CCS have been unsuccessful. Despite setbacks a variety of CCS projects are moving ahead in Canada, the US, Australia, Norway and China. In the UK, the Government recently published a CCS Roadmap and is moving ahead with its competition to fund CCS projects.

This inquiry will explore the potential benefits that CCS might have, the barriers to development and how to overcome them, what other countries are doing to incentivise CCS, and how successful deployment could impact on international efforts to mitigate climate change and what will happen if it fails.

Call for evidence

The Committee invites responses addressing some or all of the following questions:

  • What types of CCS technology are currently being developed and how do they differ from one another?
  • What contribution could CCS make towards the UK’s decarbonisation targets? Are the UK Government’s expectations reasonable in this regard?
  • Are there any potential benefits (e.g. the ability to export CCS technology abroad) of successfully developing CCS to the UK economy and, if so, what are they?
  • What are the main barriers (e.g. economic, political, regulatory, scientific and social) to developing large-scale integrated CCS projects in the UK and internationally? How can they be overcome?
  • Are there any safety issues associated with capturing, transporting and storing carbon dioxide? How could they be overcome? Who should have responsibility for ensuring these activities are safe?
  • How have other countries incentivised CCS development? How successful have they been? How do they compare to the UK’s efforts?
  • Is the UK Government’s approach, set out in its CCS Roadmap, likely to incentivise development of CCS in the UK?
  • Could the successful development of CCS improve international efforts to mitigate climate change? What role could UK CCS play in this? 
  • What are the consequences of failing to develop CCS and what alternatives are available for decarbonisation if CCS fails?

Deadline

The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines below by Monday 2 September 2013.

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the Carbon Capture and Storage Inquiry Page on the Committee's website:

Guidance on written evidence

The deadline is Monday 2 September 2013. As a guideline submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxx’ and be no longer than 3000 words, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this. If you need to send hard copy please send it to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 14 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NB.

Submissions must be a self-contained memorandum in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdfs). Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Publication of evidence

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

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