LONDON, (Reuters) – The British government cancelled plans to fund a carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project at Longannet in Scotland, signalling the technology remains too costly and undermining Britain’s ambition to become a clean technology leader.
“A decision has been made not to proceed with Longannet but to pursue other projects with the 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) funding made available by the government,” the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said in a statement yesterday.
CCS is still a commercially unproven technology but is widely seen as a key mechanism to fight climate change by trapping and burying greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining stable energy supply.
The government said it plans to use the money to fund other CCS projects following the launch of a new bidding process in England and Scotland.
Ministers will meet industry leaders in a forum on Nov. 2 to discuss further steps, DECC said.
“At a time when North Sea revenues are coming in at record levels, it was surely not too much to expect that the Treasury would make the necessary funding commitment for Longannet to go forward,” said Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, who supported the Longannet CCS project.
“The cost would have been less than a tenth of this year’s alone estimated North Sea revenues of 13.4 billion pounds.”