Driving Climate Action: Insights from the Markets and Mandates Workshop, by Olivia Powis, UK Director, CCSA


Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Driving Climate Action: Insights from the Markets and Mandates Workshop, by Olivia Powis, UK Director, CCSA

Posted on: April 9th, 2024 by ccsaEditor

It’s hard to believe it’s almost 3 months since COP28 and our first Markets and Mandates roundtable in Dubai.  As governments started the new year with fresh vigour, keen to push ahead with carbon management strategies, the CCSA held a further Markets and Mandates workshop, co-organised with Carbon Balance Initiative, Oxford Net Zero and DESNZ in February.

The Markets and Mandates project aims to help bridge the gap between theory and practice in CO2 storage development, in response to a request from the CCUS Council for further policy development on carbon storage mandates. While it has a specific focus on the UK, the implications of the project are expected to have global significance as countries consider policy measures to drive progress in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Representatives from NGOs, academics, government, advisors, and the CCUS industry participated in the workshop, each bringing unique perspectives. What became evident was the diversity of opinions on markets, mandates, and CCS, sparking engaging and insightful discussions. The workshop provided an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of a CO2 storage mandate and assess potential policy scenarios’ efficacy.

Despite enthusiastic participation, not all questions could be addressed due to time constraints. However, the workshop served its purpose by raising more questions than answers, highlighting areas for further investigation and economic modelling.

One key takeaway for me was the lack of confidence among attendees in existing market measures to drive sufficient CCS deployment. Many discussed the potential inclusion of carbon removals or negative emissions in the UK Emissions Trading System (ETS) as a possible approach. However, concerns were raised regarding the timing of reforms and the system’s reliance on political will when it comes to delivering against forecast price trajectories.

Discussions extended to the potential impacts of a Carbon Takeback Obligation (CTBO) and the need to align policies across markets. Meanwhile the journey towards effective CO2 storage development is ongoing and we have to find a way to scale it up – and rapidly.

We may not have found all the answers, but I think the discussion has paved the way for further exploration and collaboration in this area. Stay tuned for the release of the final report in May and DESNZ’s progress thereafter!

If you are interested in reviewing the Markets and Mandates report, or in getting involved in the wider cost reduction work in response to the CCUS Vision, please contact the CCSA’s Research and Projects Manager, Rebecca Bell.

How carbon removals can enable CCS business cases in Europe today. By Nicolai Mykleby-Skaara, Policy Advisor, Aker Carbon Capture

Posted on: March 15th, 2024 by ccsaEditor


As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat climate change, while being continuously reminded of our rapid approach to 2030 climate commitments, innovative business models and progressive policy incentives are emerging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among these, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS): using biomass for energy production while capturing and storing the resulting CO2. Otherwise known as permanent carbon removal, industrial carbon removal value chains are key to achieving carbon neutrality objectives enshrined in several national climate laws, however, incentives and policy provisions need to recognize the potential of facilities generating negative emissions and ensure a transparent and coherent framework to facilitate these projects. 

These were some of the challenges the recent “Making CCS Happen Now” event hosted last month in London by Aker Carbon Capture, as part of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association Member Discussion Forum, sought to discuss with an excellent panel featuring industry stakeholders and experts. 


So far, 2024 has been an unprecedented year with several strong policy developments, especially in the EU with its Industrial Carbon Management strategy, proposed 2040 climate reduction targets of 90% compared to 1990 levels, with a strong emphasis on carbon capture, and a provisional agreement on the Net Zero Industry Act which is widely known for its 50 MTPA CO2 injection capacity target by 2030. 

In the UK, the first Track-1 projects are expected to take their Financial Investment Decisions (FID) this year pending final negotiations between relevant projects and authorities. This will ultimately cater for CCS through a cluster sequencing approach to develop 4 industrial clusters by 2030 (Track 1: HyNET and the East Coast Cluster; Track 2: Acorn and Viking). These negotiations build on continuous funding business model developments over the last few years within Dispatchable Power (DPA); industrial Carbon Capture, including specific subsection for EfW (ICC); bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) and Greenhouse Gas Removals (GGR) which are all different in nature and technicalities. The outcome of the negotiations will result in many important ‘lessons learned’ for the next wave of projects and therefore we are at a particularly pivotal stage in the CCS development timeline with a precedent being set as we speak. 

How to accelerate CCS and CDR timelines 

Parts of the industry find themselves in a precarious position today with a highly intertwined value chain consisting of private actors and public authorities. Since many emerging projects are subject to and dependent on government funding, while also serving the greater purpose of inherently contributing to the nation’s climate obligations, developers and authorities are often presented with uncertainty and risk as they are embarking on these first-of-a-kind projects.  

The Energy from Waste (EfW) sector is in a unique position as the incineration of municipal and industrial waste produces both fossil and biogenic CO2 emissions. The fraction of fossil vs biogenic CO2 in the flue gas stream from an EfW plant depends on the feedstock being incinerated, but in most municipal waste incineration facilities, it is typically around 50/50. If this CO2 is captured and stored, the fossil CO2 released from the incineration of waste can be abated, while capture of the biogenic CO2 emissions results in carbon dioxide removal, meaning that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and the natural carbon cycle. The real challenge is how to account for the biogenic vs fossil contents of the captured CO2 – this will naturally be a significant part of credit creation, but also a determining factor if the fossil contents are tied into a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme. 

A multitude of large private corporations have the same, if not more aggressive internal climate mitigation ambitions and are therefore finding ways of contributing to the financing of BECCS projects through off-taker agreements for high-integrity carbon removal credits. It is crucial to allow these investments to contribute in harmony with relevant government support schemes that are also helping finance the first projects to be economically viable. This was a significant enabler in the major Ørsted Kalundborg Hub BECCS project that Aker Carbon Capture was awarded in May 2023, which for the customer will deliver over 430,000 tonnes of high-integrity carbon removal credits. A significant amount of these credits will be purchased by Microsoft over more than ten years to contribute to its commitments of being carbon negative in 2030 and removing its historical emissions by 2050. 


The first initial projects will provide a blueprint to guide the industry as it grows and transitions away from government financing. The current active policy provisions and continuous development is what needs to instil enough confidence and predictability in emitters that are looking for solutions to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. What really matters now is that the first wave of projects cross the finish-line and are implemented successfully, such as those in the UK Track-1 process, and that the industry, policymakers, and other stakeholders extract valuable lessons learned for what enabled these projects to move ahead to accommodate future opportunities, for instance with the build-out of scalable transport and storage infrastructure that future emitters can tie into. In the grand scheme of things, knowledge-sharing and transparent cooperation between countries should be encouraged as the challenges we all face are not limited to borders and we need to work together to find common solutions.

Take a look at the event highlights on YouTube here.


CCSA Member Discussion Forum, “Making CCS Happen Now”, hosted by Aker Carbon Capture on the 1st of February 2024

CCSA Blog: What can the UK Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) industry learn from the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)? By John Catillaz, Decarbonisation Marketing Director, GE Vernova

Posted on: February 6th, 2024 by ccsaEditor

GE Vernova was proud to host the Carbon Capture and Storage Association’s (CCSA) third Member’s Discussion Forum at the Library of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London on 28 September, bringing together industry representatives to discuss the US InflationReductionAct (IRA) and what it means for the UK’s CCUS industry.

The panel, chaired by Ruth Herbert , Chief Executive at Carbon Capture and Storage Association , examined how tax incentives have mobilised carbon capture projects in the US, and the response from the EU and the UK. I was joined on the panel by Heather Bell, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) office at the U.S. Embassy in London and James Hughes, Commercial Director at Technip Energies .

The US IRA, signed into law in August 2022, marks the most significant action taken by the US Government on clean energy in the nation’s history, dedicating USD ~370 billion to US decarbonization efforts. It encourages action on climate change and energy security through a combination of grants, incentives and other investments. With the UK’s ambitious plans to capture and store 20-30 megatonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, there are three key areas that are worth considering.

The first point is the US IRA has provided confidence. Early adopters need government support to de-risk CCUS projects. The supply chain needs visibility on future volumes, not only for improved planning to ensure in-time execution but also to drive cost down.  Furthermore, the UK has over 70 billion tonnes of CO2 storage capacity but does not have the infrastructure required to transport CO2 in a profitable way. Incentives similar to the IRA could be used to attract the investment needed and accelerate the permitting required to build CO2 pipelines. The industry needs unwavering support, well-funded investment channels, and expedited decision-making.

Secondly, it is interesting to observe how the US IRA also looks at Direct Air Capture (DAC), a technology that will become more and more important, in particular for hard-to-abate sectors. DAC allows us to “unwind the clock” CO2 emitted since the industrial revolution by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The third point is to recognize that incentives alone won’t ensure the UK reaches its CCUS target. Although the US IRA is likely to drive increased volumes of projects in a short space of time, public acceptance of CCUS is vital. The UK needs to engage the public and increase education around the topic of CCUS, which in turn will help with permits to build the infrastructure required.

While there are many elements of the IRA that are interesting to consider for other countries, like the UK, it is important to note that there are different ways to accelerate the deployment of CCUS. GE Vernova welcomes the significant progress the UK Government has made over the last months and years. The development of the different business models provides a solid basis for the negotiation of the projects that have been selected as part of Track-1, and the commitment for GBP 20 billion for the CCUS industry is a first step to inspire the confidence the industry needs to kick-start. A roadmap with clear timescales and CO2 volumes will help reduce risk, attract investment and establish the supply chain, infrastructure and talent needed.

GE Vernova’s recent white paper on reaching net zero carbon in Great Britain provides a deeper analysis on the need for accelerated investments, market reforms and energy policy to deploy low carbon technologies, including CCUS.


CCSA Blog: COP28 Markets and Mandates Roundtable: Short Reflections, by Mirte Boot & Ingrid Sundvor, Carbon Balance Initiative

Posted on: January 5th, 2024 by ccsaEditor

On Friday, December 8th, in the Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, the CCSA, Oxford Net Zero and Carbon Balance Initiative hosted a pivotal cross-sector roundtable. The roundtable was the kick-off for a 2024 research project on the role of Markets and Mandates for scaling and supporting carbon capture and storage (CCS) activities which we need if we are to reach net zero by 2050. It convened industry leaders, CEOs, and NGOs – including many CCSA members – to discuss a crucial question: What policy mix is best placed to drive pace in future CCS deployment?

This led to an engaging and lively discussion, the results of which will feed into the project’s policy thinking on Markets and Mandates, and will directly inform an economic analysis of policy options for enduring CCS deployment and future UK Government policy bundles. The session was jointly moderated by Olivia Powis, UK Director at the CCSA, and Mirte Boot, Co-Director of Carbon Balance.

The urgency of the climate crisis

The workshop was kicked off by Professor Myles Allen OBE and his stark reminder of the urgency of the climate crisis. Noting that we are above 1.2°C global warming today, Allen stated that we will need to reach net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 to meet the 1.5°C target as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. IPCC scenarios aligned with this objective show a large, rapid, reduction in fossil fuel consumption and production, as well as the deployment of CO2 disposal technologies, such as CCS and CDR, at multi-billion-tonne scales by 2050. Professor Allen strongly emphasised that we are currently capturing less than 50 million tonnes of CO2 each year, leaving the world with a vast scale-up challenge to deliver a sufficiently large CO2 storage industry in the coming decades. Reaching even a billion tonnes per year of CCS by 2030, as is the aim of the Carbon Management Challenge announced by the US at COP28, would require building one CCS facility per week, every week. Delivering this and moving beyond into a multi-billion-tonne storage market by 2050 raises important questions on the policy mechanisms, financing and regulatory support needed for this important aspect of the net zero transition.

Assessing current policy instruments

The first workshop discussion focused on current mechanisms in place for scaling CCS, and pooling the expertise of the room to drill into the question: what are the risks of current CCS policies for achieving our net zero targets?

The discussion was kicked off by Dr Stuart Jenkins, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and an expert on fossil fuel sector decarbonisation pathways. Stuart provided a high-level exploration of the current policy landscape for CCS, with the taxonomy of policy instruments divided into three pivotal axes: government procurement (such as the US’s 45Q mechanism, or public sector advanced market commitments for low carbon products), demand-side policies (like the Emissions Trading Scheme, or sector and product carbon taxes), and supply-side policies (including regulations like California’s low carbon fuel standard, low carbon product standards, and the Carbon Takeback Obligation).

In the ensuing interactive discussion, participants were encouraged to actively engage on the status of, and gaps in, current policy frameworks. Examples of key concerns with current frameworks for CCS included: the inexhaustibility of current government-subsidy-led revenue streams, concerns around the timing for CCS growth, and the risks of relying on industrial emissions trading schemes to deliver a consistent signal for CCS investment.

Firstly, participants highlighted that both voluntary carbon market demand and government subsidies for CCS are not inexhaustible, suggesting a transition towards private financing of CCS activities is needed to secure the long-term delivery of the CCS industry. Further, attendees noted the clear risk of overreliance on reversible mechanisms to achieve the scale and pace of growth required, with enduring mechanisms needed for investor confidence.

Secondly, participants highlighted the risk of treating CCS projects as a concern to be dealt with only after necessary emission cuts. Attendees were clear that CCS projects require long-term investment and planning; policy mechanisms must provide that stability for investors and act with urgency to scale the CCS market alongside crucial emissions cuts.

Finally, participants discussed the risks of an overreliance on demand-side tools, such as the ETS, alone in an enduring CCS market. Key risks highlighted included the ability of regional carbon markets to influence industrial decarbonisation without causing offshoring, and the ETS as a “flimsy” and “clumsy” tool for making billion-dollar capital investments.

Exploring mandates as an additional policy tool

The second half of the workshop focused on an introduction to carbon storage mandates as an alternative policy mechanism for driving CCS growth. This began with two mini-presentations from Stuart and Joop Hazenberg, EU Director at the CCSA. Stuart introduced the Carbon Takeback Obligation (CTBO), highlighting its approach, synergies with existing policies, and potential outcomes. Joop complemented with an overview of the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) Article 18, which can be seen as the first iteration of a ‘storage mandate’ policy.

This led to our second plenary discussion which gave participants the chance to articulate their perspectives on the opportunities and risks of storage mandates for driving CCS growth. Participants saw the potential in storage mandates for ensuring that all remaining fossil fuel use is fully abated, driving global momentum, signalling investor certainty, and identifying funding sources. Others highlighted the opportunities for mandates to drive down oil and gas consumption by “putting a price on pollution” and “baking the cost of capturing and storing CO2 into the price of fuels at the pump”; although questions were raised as to the extent to which these costs would fall on consumers, oil and gas companies, and/or other actors in the value chain.

Concurrently, participants highlighted the risks of mandates that merit careful consideration. In particular, participants highlighted that any storage mandate should not have adverse consequences of sustaining business-as-usual fossil fuel production levels, or offshoring production (where oil and gas companies might relocate to regions without the CTBO or Article 18). Participants also questioned whether a mandate, if implemented at a national or regional level, would be stunted or inefficient, and whether another parallel market for storage credits is needed alongside current instruments. Stuart agreed the international implementation challenge is key to the acceptance of mandates, although he underlined that this is not a unique challenge for mandate mechanisms as every climate policy has to navigate this challenge of effectiveness at sub-global scales. It was also stressed that additional policies are often needed to ensure integrity (e.g. the CBAM with the UK/EU ETS). The discussion emphasised the need for a level playing field across different technologies and suggested that regulated use of CCS/CDR in hard-to-abate sectors could help maintain the environmental integrity of any policy suite. The discussion prompted further questions that should be assessed in future research work.


The roundtable marked a significant moment in the development of the future of CCS policies, with nuanced, diverse and expert-informed input from all participants. Attendees were keen for the discussion to continue, signalling the need for ongoing consultation in this area. This workshop sets the stage for our next dialogue on how to best drive CCS deployment in the UK – the CCSA, Oxford Net Zero and Carbon Balance Initiative will thus invite stakeholders to give further input on this work in the New Year. And hopefully, as these discussions evolve, the roadmap toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050 becomes clearer.

Stay tuned for updates!

CCSA Blog: From Kyoto to Dubai: The Evolution of CCS and the Urgent Call for Global Carbon Capture Action, by Dr. Jeff Chapman

Posted on: December 22nd, 2023 by ccsaEditor

Picture it – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference (COP3). The Kyoto Protocol had just been agreed upon, and it became very clear to me that there would, sooner or later, be an enormous potential for UK business in the energy and climate change sector. This realisation sparked discussions with the Department of Trade and Industry and UK Trade and Investment, culminating in my appointment as Trade Promoter for UKTI in 2000.

My mission was clear: focus on UK business opportunities in Emissions Trading (ET) and Cleaner Coal Technologies, later known as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Backed by six forward-thinking companies, I spearheaded two business working groups, aiming to identify market opportunities, foster collaboration, promote the UK brand, and dismantle barriers to trade. As the landscape evolved, the need for an industry group independent of government support became evident. In 2006, we laid the foundation for the Trade Association London Climate Change Services, the UK service sector’s offering. However, the journey with CCS was laden with challenges, particularly its reception in the UNFCCC negotiation process.

CCS encountered resistance from environmental NGOs during UNFCCC negotiations, demanding strategic intervention. It was clear that unless CCS was recognised as a valid mitigation technology in the UNFCCC, it would not be able to develop as needed to mitigate global emissions. There were several attempts to write a methodology that would be accepted by the UNFCCC all to no avail. Then Tim Dixon was drafted in to become lead negotiator in this area for the UK and EU who played a crucial role during COP17 in Durban (2011) in getting the proposal passed. This was a major step forward for the recognition of CCS and laid the ground for CCS to assume its rightful place in the Paris Agreement.

I established the CCSA in 2006, out of the CCS Working Group at UKTI, thus delivering on my mission of launching a self-sustaining UK business group in the CCS sector. I was delighted that Lord Oxburgh, the most prominent Peer in this field, agreed to be our Honorary President. Gardiner Hill, who had already established his prominence in this sector, was appointed Chairman of the Board. The membership grew significantly, from an initial 11 who took up places on the CCSA Board, to a peak of 85 in 2014, at which point I retired.

I have followed the development of the Association with great interest, and I have been very proud to see the CCSA ride through the many bumpy policy challenges, as well as de-stabilising external factors such as the pandemic. The management of the CCSA has been exemplary in driving home the essential role of CCS in global mitigation, supporting a cluster-based development programme in the UK, influencing European developments and recruiting members to a new record level.

Observing recent developments in the CCS sector in the UK, EU and globally, I am very pleased indeed to see that the policy on CCS is changing for the better with, at last, a realisation that climate objectives cannot be achieved without CCS. The inclusion of CCUS in the final COP28 decision on December 13, 2023, signifies a significant milestone. For the first time, global efforts explicitly recognise the role of CCUS in achieving deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the ambitious 1.5-degree Celsius pathways.

The global conversation on carbon capture is gaining momentum, and the urgent need for the continued development and success of the CCS sector is unmistakable. As the world acknowledges the necessity of transitioning away from fossil fuels, achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and embracing low-carbon technologies, the role of CCUS has never been more crucial.

Dr. Jeff Chapman established the Carbon Capture and Storage Association in March 2006 following a long period of supporting UK businesses to establish a position in greenhouse gas emissions trading and carbon capture & storage.

Jeff has over thirty years of management experience in industry, consultancy and more latterly in government circles. He has specialised in the energy sector with a focus on the business opportunities that arise from climate change mitigation. Jeff has been a significant contributor to the establishment of London as the World centre of emissions trading.

Keeping 1.5 Alive – By Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive, Carbon Capture & Storage Association

Posted on: December 12th, 2023 by ccsaEditor

Attending my third Conference of the Parties since joining the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, I felt that familiar pang of excitement tinged with dread.  Would this COP deliver real progress, what would be announced on carbon management, would the debate on fossil fuels be all-consuming, what would be the outcome of the global stocktake and would it lead to further action, and what does 70,000 people even look like?

Compared to previous years it felt bigger than ever, but when you consider the scale of what we need to achieve to decarbonise the lives of over 8 billion people living on this planet, delegates are a fairly small contingent (less than one thousandth of a percent of the world’s population) and the clear message from the outset is that collaboration is essential if we are to achieve the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees (or “North Star” in COP-speak).  Although there had been a lot of debate about the role of business at COPs, I was buoyed by the messaging from Christiana Figueres in her recent podcast that the time for negotiating is drawing to a close and it is time to move into implementation.  Implementation is definitely what business is interested in.

Moving into delivery

The past year has seen Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) move into the delivery phase around the world.  Many who follow this topic will be aware that in Europe, Norway has almost finished building its flagship Northern Lights facility, which will be ready to store CO2 from next year. With the capture on a cement plant in Brevik, Norway, close to completion and the Final Investment Decision on the Porthos Cluster in Rotterdam taken just over a month ago, Europe’s first-mover full-scale CCS projects are underway, providing confidence to rest of the industry.  In the US, hundreds of projects are moving forward on the back of the tax credits available under the Inflation Reduction Act.  What was striking at COP, however, was how much CCUS China is building and how many developing countries are putting together deployment plans, having included CCUS in their NDCs.  This was evident from pavilion agendas, many of which featured CCUS side events, as well as the traffic to our booth, where many officials from the global south discussed their plans for CCUS, driven by their desire to continue to industrialise whilst they also decarbonise.

Carbon Management Challenge

It was no surprise then that the Presidency Roundtable on the Carbon Management Challenge, chaired by James Mwangi, included five new joiners to the initiative – Iceland, Kenya, Mozambique, Netherlands and Senegal  – who joined existing members Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, European Commission, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Romania, Sweden, UAE, UK and US.  Fatih Birol set the scene by saying that fossils fuels would need to be phased out and the purpose of the Challenge was to urgently deal with the emissions sources we have today.  This was an important moment and a narrative echoed by several countries in their national statements, that CCUS should be prioritised on hard-to-abate sectors.  This chimed with the prior announcement on the same day of a demand-side policy from the governments of Canada, Germany, UK and US, who pledged to procure low emissions steel, cement and concrete – a policy move that, if followed by others, could really start to drive the business case for industrial CCS. US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Chinese Climate Envoy Xie both referred to the Sunnylands agreement on 14 November between President Biden and President Xi Jinping, where both countries had committed to advance at least five large-scale CCUS projects each by 2030.


“Gigatonne scale per annum”

However, the big news announced at the CMC Roundtable was the call to action – a new commitment by member countries to collectively aim to capture and store carbon dioxide at gigatonne scale per annum by 2030.  That’s a billion tonnes a year. To put this in context, the Brevik plant aims to capture around 800,000 tonnes per annum, so 0.08% of the target.  Netherlands stated that they were already well on the way to contributing 2.5Mtpa, a quarter of a percent of the target. The UK’s four CCUS clusters, which the government hopes will deliver up to 30 million tonnes a year by 2030, would contribute just 3% of the goal.  We heard about many plans from member countries, but it was clear that current commitments would fall short of 1 GT and developing countries would want support on costs to deliver projects.

No time to waste…

So my take away was that the Challenge is going to need more members or to step up existing national plans significantly.  The good news is that China and Bahrain both made supportive statements during the roundtable and Netherlands suggested that other EU countries were likely to join going forward.  For an initiative like this to launch in week 1, amidst all the tension of the debate on fossil fuels, looked like an impressive achievement for the Presidency and the secretariat of the Clean Energy Ministerial.  As an observer in the room representing CCUS businesses, it was clear to me that were we all going to be very busy indeed with projects, whilst at the same time needing to support the putting in place of regulatory, planning and incentive frameworks in countries that are starting out on this journey. A key pillar of the CMC, alongside putting in place national targets and policies, is participating in multilateral initiatives with other countries to share knowledge so we can all move quicker. It’s clear there’s no time to waste – we now need to implement.



CCSA Blog: Carbon Capture & Storage at Party Conferences: Capturing the Conversation, by Joe Butler-Trewin, Senior Public Affairs & Communications Officer, CCSA

Posted on: November 15th, 2023 by ccsaEditor

Party conferences are strange beasts. Thousands of stakeholders convening in one place, all in a hectic scramble to influence both serving & prospective governments. This year was no exception, but the question lingers: were they actually listening?

In 2022, the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) attended the Labour & Conservative Party Conferences, adopting a modest approach to engagement. While we achieved some success, it was clear that neither Labour nor the Tories fully grasped the immense potential of Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) in achieving their net zero ambitions: creating and saving jobs across our industrial heartlands and boosting inward investment into our economy. Determined to be heard, we resolved to return with even greater vigour, waving the flag for CCUS.

This year, alongside colleagues from eight of the UK’s ever growing number of CCUS Industrial Clusters, we embarked on the most ambitious political engagement programme the UK CCUS industry has ever seen. With our collective aim in sight, we made our way to Manchester & Liverpool, to ensure that we captured the CCUS opportunity.

Here are some thoughts on what we saw.

Conservative Party Conference – One year in, has Rishi made his mark on a net zero energy sector?

In his net zero speech this summer, Sunak quoted the Climate Change Committee in saying “you don’t reach net zero simply by wishing it.” Yet despite finally seeing (severely delayed) progress to the CCS deployment in the UK, it is fair to say that as we arrived in Manchester for what could potentially be the Conservatives’ last conference before a general election, we weren’t holding our breath for any bold moves from the PM.

Alas, the atmosphere in Manchester seemed somewhat downtrodden – the conference hall was hardly more than half full, seeing a cabinet minister was a rarity, and indeed many MPs simply didn’t attend at all. Was this really the pre-election conference of the UK’s traditional governing party?

Yet there was hope. MPs, party members and businesses alike were significantly more positive than they had been the year before in the dying days of the Truss administration. While not everything was rosy for those wearing blue rosettes (cancelling HS2 whilst in Manchester might not have been the smartest move), there was a clear ambition to ‘get the job done’ in transitioning to net zero. We heard this first-hand when Claire Coutinho MP, the recently appointed Secretary of State for Energy Security & Net Zero, visited our exhibition stand and reiterated the government’s commitment to CCUS and rollout of four CCUS Industrial Clusters by 2030.

The Conservative messaging on net zero was confusing, to say the least. We must not forget what this government has already delivered in establishing the UK as a CCUS leader, with four clusters in development, the biggest piece of energy legislation in over a decade, and £20bn earmarked for the development of CCUS technology. The Tories have put in the hard graft in delivering these enormous milestones, and I’d urge the Prime Minister to stay on course, get spades in the ground and take the credit the Party rightly deserves.

Labour Party Conference – Ready for power, but are they ready to deliver a just transition?

Arriving in Liverpool we felt a different energy in the air. This is a party that can see the finish line in sight and exuded confidence going into the next election. With over 15,000 delegates in attendance, the conference buzzed with energy. The CCSA stand welcomed visits from dozens of MPs, including Ed Miliband, Rachel Reeves, and the new Shadow Minister for Industry and Decarbonisation, Sarah Jones. It was clear by just skimming through the list of exhibitors and the dozens of fringe events that the big-ticket item of the conference was energy security and net zero. Forget ‘education, education, education’, 2023 was the year of ‘energy, energy, energy’.

While Labour proudly presented its plans for what many within the party deem to be the inevitable orientation of a Labour Government, a question loomed – were they going to have the courage to make their policies happen?

Labour spoke all the right words, but there is a lot of work to do. Alan Whitehead has been an obvious champion for the sector but as he comes toward the end of his parliamentary career, we will be looking to the shadow Energy and Business team to take up the mantle as Labour’s industrial decarbonisation champions. We had positive engagement with Ed Miliband, Johnny Reynolds and Sarah Young and will be looking to them to drive development of CCUS from within the Labour ranks.

If the Labour Party aspires to be the government that truly delivers the UK’s energy transition, they must surpass the government’s CCUS commitments and unleash the potential of our industrial heartlands.

Red or blue: the future looks bright for CCUS.

Party conferences are a double-edged sword for organisations trying to engage with political parties. They offer fantastic opportunities to connect with stakeholders, but also reveal the extent of competition for attention. Despite the political uncertainty and deployment challenges we face, we leave party conference season confident that CCUS remains a critical part of both major parties’ strategies for delivering a net zero Britain.

CCSA Blog: Reflections from new CCSA staff members

Posted on: September 29th, 2023 by ccsaEditor

Over the past 7 months the CCSA team has expanded rapidly, and we have been delighted to welcome 6 new staff members across our London and Brussels offices. Here our new hires reflect on their time at the CCSA so far, and discuss what they have been working on and what they are most looking forward to in the future. 

Olivia Trimborn, Public Affairs and Communications Officer

I joined the CCSA team in mid-February, and my current responsibilities encompass supporting the CCUS All Party Parliamentary Group and influencing legislation, coordinating with parliamentarians and stakeholders, and engaging with the press and social media. 

Looking ahead, I’m excited to support the CCSA’s presence at the Party Conferences, which are taking place over the next couple of weeks. A significant milestone we eagerly anticipate is the Energy Bill reaching royal assent, a crucial piece of legislation that has been propelled by the collective determination of the CCSA, our members, and supporting parliamentarians, ensuring the significance of CCUS remains at the forefront. 

As we witness the escalating momentum within the CCUS industry, I am humbled to contribute my efforts as part of the diligent and accomplished team here at the CCSA. 

Kristina Antoniou, Membership Communications and Events Officer

I joined the CCSA at the end of February, supporting the London team’s communications, events and membership activities. I have particularly enjoyed supporting the CCSA’s busy programme of events, especially the new Member Discussion Forums, and our President’s Reception in July. 

The CCUS sector has seen tremendous growth in the past few months, with major government announcements on the Cluster Sequencing Programme. I’m looking forward to seeing the industry further develop and truly start kicking into action, as well as supporting the extensive ongoing preparation for the CCSA’s annual conference taking place in just under three weeks. 

Max Musing, Policy Officer

Since I joined the CCSA back in March, at a critical moment for the CCUS sector, my focus has been on helping to formulate our response to key CCUS policy developments, and building momentum for the development of a homegrown CCUS supply chain through the work of the Supply Chain Working Group and the publication of the CCSA Supply Chain Good Practice Guidance and the CCUS Workforce and Skills Position Paper.                               

I am particularly looking forward to building on this foundational work and galvanising the opportunities offered by CCUS supply chain development, and assisting our members to take advantage of the various domestic and international opportunities that are on offer. 

Rebecca Bell, Research and Projects Manager

I joined the team at the end of May – although part of the London team, I live in Edinburgh, so I spend a lot of time being envious of the weather my colleagues are enjoying!  Since I started, I’ve been working on the update to our Delivery Plan, which has just been published this week – and it feels like I’ve released my baby into the world! I’ve also been working on a map of the CO₂ capture projects in the UK, and a study looking at the potential size of the global market for low-carbon products made using CCS and/or hydrogen. 

I’m looking forward to getting the capture map published and having people use the map and our updated Delivery Plan. I’m also looking forward to getting some spades in the ground and getting CCS projects and infrastructure built – and doing what I can to help the industry get to that stage. 

Kristin Heidebroek, EU Public Affairs and Communications Officer

I have joined the CCSA team based in Brussels, supporting the work of the Zero Emissions Platform – the European initiative advising the EU and advocating for the accelerated deployment of CCS and CCU. As part of the Secretariat, my primary focus has been on ensuring that the voices of the CCS and CCU community resonate in European policymaking.  

This is a turning point to achieve climate neutrality. By being part of the CCSA at this pivotal moment, with CCS gaining tremendous traction, I am looking forward to contributing actively to the collective efforts that steer European policies in the right direction. 

Beth Hebditch, Policy Manager

This September I joined the CCSA’s UK Policy team, where my primary focus will be co-ordinating the CCSA’s Technical Working Group. During my first few weeks I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with industry, committees, and policy makers on the technical aspects of CCUS research, planning and deployment.  

I have joined the team at an action-packed time as the CCUS sector reacts to crucial announcements (such as the £20 billion funding allocation and Track 2 cluster sequencing). With our members I am excited to explore the practical realities of CCUS policy as projects gain momentum and the UK’s industrial and energy sectors make considerable steps towards decarbonisation.  

The full CCSA team at our President’s Reception in July.

CCSA Blog: Delivering a just transition, by Lucy Hanlon, Policy Manager at SSE Thermal

Posted on: August 31st, 2023 by ccsaEditor

There are less than one billion seconds until the net zero deadline – a reminder from Siemens Energy’s vice president for the UK, Steve Scrimshaw, at a thought-provoking CCSA Member Discussion Forum that took place recently. While Steve’s “time is ticking” message was clear, so too was SSE Thermal’s view that we must incorporate social value into the heart of our energy transition.

This gathering of industry leaders was convened at our London offices and the attendees were left in no doubt that we must ensure we deliver a just transition as we move towards net zero.

Led by the CCSA’s UK Director Olivia Powis, the panel consisted of SSE Thermal’s Hannah Bronwin and Helen Sanders; Steve Scrimshaw; Mitsuaki Kato of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; and Francesca Bell from CCUS Kickstarters.

The conversation was wide-ranging, touching on the need for CCS projects to be delivered, the importance of the supply chain and the need to ensure that communities aren’t left behind as we decarbonise the power system. Of particular relevance were the three key priority areas identified – the 3 Ps – which are crucial to delivering a just transition and protecting our domestic supply chains. These are Purpose, People and Place.

Purpose, People and Place

It is imperative that we decarbonise our power system on the way to net zero. Renewables will lead that charge, but we also need flexible generation to provide vital backup and this must be decarbonised in its own right. That is why low-carbon technologies like CCS and hydrogen are so important.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) published a report which demonstrates that we need at least circa 17GW of low-carbon dispatchable power to be brought online by 2035. By decarbonising the power sector, we will not only support the net zero transition but provide new opportunities for those people working within the sector currently, while creating economic benefits for the regions in which assets are located.

Beyond the power sector, CCS can decarbonise industry, delivering clean steel and cement in the UK, leveraging our depleted gas fields to create a global competitive advantage and, in return, greater economic benefit. Having a purpose is nothing without people. CCS will provide essential jobs in our industrial heartlands which would otherwise be at risk as industry relocates. SSE is at the ‘pointy end’ of the transition and we have committed to reducing our carbon intensity by 80% by 2030. As we strive to meet that goal we have closed our coal-fired power stations, opened Europe’s most efficient gas-fired power station and are developing multiple low-carbon projects. The need to transition in a fair and just way is central to everything we do, and we recognise that we need a skilled workforce that can develop, design, construct and operate low-carbon assets. In the last two years, 900 people have joined SSE from high-carbon jobs and that is something we take great pride in.

We firmly believe that our low-carbon plans can create further opportunities – our proposed Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, for example, would deliver 1000 jobs during construction and support 240 jobs locally through its operational phase.

SSE has set out plans to invest up to £40bn across the next decade, with a focus on low-carbon infrastructure. Significant amounts of that investment will be focused on our industrial heartlands, which have been home to power generation for decades. We believe it’s essential that these heartlands are not left behind – they have so much to offer as we continue this net zero journey.

The role of CCS in that journey continues to be recognised, with the Government outlining £20bn in funding and now identifying four clusters in which carbon capture technology will be deployed. Now, we must all work together to ensure that workers and communities aren’t left behind while outlining the size of the opportunity to the local supply chain.

SSE Thermal’s Keadby site

CCSA Blog: What are the next steps for UK Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) from industry’s perspective? By Oly Moir, Partner at Slaughter and May

Posted on: June 30th, 2023 by ccsaEditor

For the first time the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) held a Member’s Discussion Forum to consider the next steps for UK CCUS. Slaughter and May were delighted to host the event and to welcome senior industry representatives to our offices in London on 15 June.

The panel, chaired by Ruth Herbert (CCSA Chief Executive), considered the UK Government’s latest CCUS announcements and what’s next for Track-2, Track-1 expansion and beyond. I joined Chris Manson-Whitton (CEO of Progressive Energy Ltd), Guy Appleton (CFO and MD of New Energies at Kellas Midstream), Nicola Cocks (Head of Regulation and Policy at Storegga) on the panel.

We agreed that the UK’s geography presents a unique opportunity to successfully cover the UK’s CO2 storage needs and to develop a market for CO2 imports from the EU. The business models that are currently being developed by the Government with input from CCSA members are helping to build the right base to do so. However, these need to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the CO2 markets of the future. A key focus of the discussion was, therefore, to assess what will be required both in the short-term and in the longer-term, to turn this opportunity into success.

My key take-aways:

Chris emphasised that the UK’s well-suited geology, the clusters of coastal emitters and the good overall strategy that is being deployed all present an excellent opportunity to develop a very strong and internationally competitive CCUS sector. Based on current projections, the UK has greater storage potential than is needed to meet the UK’s domestic emissions reductions targets. This opens the opportunity for the UK to offer storage to emitters from beyond its shores. Nicola’s vision captured this market potential, envisaging in the not all too distant future a ship leaving port in Germany and deciding, on a cost basis, to head to the UK rather than say Norway or the US, to deliver its CO2 cargo for storage.

The key to unlocking this potential is the rapid development of the UK’s CO2 transport and storage infrastructure that will form the cornerstone of the sector’s development. This needs to be operational as quickly as possible.

The announcements of the £20bn Government funding envelope, the Track-1 capture project negotiations, the Track-2 expressions of interest and the promise of an expansion to Track-1 capture projects have all been encouraging. But Ruth highlighted that industry is still awaiting the Government announcement of time-lines for Track-2 and Track-1 expansion. The panel observed that the lack of certainty as to when a project may be able to apply for support could, in the worst case, lead to projects that could have been viable being abandoned. To ensure that momentum is kept high, panel members called for a clear timeline setting out the stages for the expansion to Track-1 and the development of Track-2.

The current selection process, with lumpy allocation rounds and a lack of visibility on timelines for future rounds, runs the risk of congesting supply chains as projects seek to commission at the same time and making it difficult for projects to arrange longer term financing. The panel acknowledged and agreed with the need to focus on value for money. However, Guy emphasised that using the current approach for future rounds is likely to increase costs for projects and therefore ultimately drive down the value for money that can be offered.

We also discussed the importance of providing industry with visibility on the expansion of both the ranges of emitters eligible to apply and the types of storage covered by the business models, as well as on the role of shipping-based CO2 transport. It is time to make tangible progress on the business models Greenhouse Gas Removals and Power BECCS, and to provide clarity on how non-pipeline CO2 transportation can integrate into the transport and storage regulatory investment model.

The need to keep up momentum is important not only for achieving net zero targets but also for building strong supply chains and keeping expertise in the UK. Attention to detail in the business models and the more extensive protection against cross-chain risks, for example, were highlighted as key differentiators in the UK’s approach vis-à-vis the US’s tax credit-based approach under the Inflation Reduction Act. However, the US’s model, while potentially riskier for project developers, offers far greater investor certainty through its simplicity, which is in turn allowing for quicker development of projects and the establishment of supply chains and job creation.

Overall, the sentiment across the discussion was that the UK business models are approaching the right balance – and that DESNZ should be commended for the work done to-date in developing those models – , but, in the face of growing international competition, the UK must make sure that it takes full advantage of its strong starting position and avoids further delays which may result in both losing viable projects and the UK being left behind in the process of developing CCUS expertise and supply chains.


Take a look at our Member Discussion Forum highlights video here.