CCSA Blog: Recent CCUS announcements and delivering the next wave of clusters in the UK, by Ruth Herbert, CCSA CEO


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CCSA Blog: Recent CCUS announcements and delivering the next wave of clusters in the UK, by Ruth Herbert, CCSA CEO

Posted on: May 25th, 2023 by ccsaEditor

At the CCSA we’ve been taking some time to reflect on the momentous announcements over the past few weeks. I’m delighted to finally see the decades of hard work and collaboration between industry and government come to fruition. This is a pivotal moment which fires the starting gun on the UK CCUS industry. 

The Government’s Spring Budget announced £20billion of funding had been allocated for CCUS projects, an unprecedented recognition of the importance of CCUS in delivering net zero and boosting the UK’s economic growth. The funding means the initial Track 1 CCUS clusters can truly start moving forward with the first eight projects – a critical springboard for the UK industry to further develop and a kickstart for the decarbonisation of North-West and East Coast of England. The funding will provide operational payments to cover the use of carbon capture on power, industry and hydrogen production and this will unlock private sector capital for its construction.  These eight projects will collectively capture and store around seven million tonnes of CO2 a year and create thousands of jobs.  

These projects are just a small proportion of what is required to reach Net Zero. But they represent just one tenth of the current project pipeline, demonstrating the scale of the opportunities in front of us.  Last year the CCSA identified over 70 million tonnes of carbon emissions from around the UK which could be abated with Carbon Capture and Storage by 2035. Delivery of all of these projects would keep the UK on track with its Net Zero Strategy trajectory and provide significant economic benefits to disadvantaged regions.  

Critically, this is not just a Net Zero opportunity. The CCUS pipeline can provide 70,000 new jobs, as well as protecting 77,000 existing jobs, across the UK’s industrial heartlands, all while positioning our country to export low carbon products and CCUS skills and services around the globe. There is more to do and the necessary next steps are set out in Chris Skidmore MP’s Net Zero Review recommendations 

We urgently need to see a clear CCUS deployment plan for the whole of the UK. To have a fighting chance of reaching Net Zero and leading the low carbon industries of the future, it is vital all of the industrial clusters across the UK get up and running with carbon capture and storage as soon as possible. 

Delivery of this plan offers an exciting, near-term opportunity to put our industrial regions at the forefront of the next industrial revolution – leading the way in the transition to a global low carbon economy in the same way as British industry led the world in the first industrial revolution. So great is this opportunity – the kind that only comes every few hundred years – other countries are racing to take up the mantel. Both the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s Green Industrial Plan and Net Zero Industry Act set out powerful CCUS measures.  We risk falling behind despite the UK’s 18-year head start (the CCSA was established in 2006).   

We need a longer-term commitment to remain an attractive proposition to investors and to develop our own supply chain. Ahead of the Spring Budget, the CCSA made a Budget Submission requesting funding to cover the period to 2035. We believe this would provide sufficient forward visibility to develop a UK-based supply chain capable of both servicing the UK project pipeline and exporting technology and services to other emerging CCUS markets. We will keep up the pressure on the Government to deliver this. 

The recently announced Track 1 expansion will provide an important opportunity for the remaining shortlisted projects, as well as new projects. The expansion will launch later this year and government is expected to engage with the sector on delivery shortly. We urgently need to see more detail before the summer regarding the timeline for the expansion, the eligibility criteria, and what the industry can expect going forward. 

The Track 2 process for the next two CCUS clusters was also launched at the end of March. It’s important this process moves forward quickly if the UK is to meet its 2030 target of storing up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year. However, we are still awaiting further details on the timeline and criteria for selecting capture projects under Track 2.  

The Chancellor has said he will be setting out the UK’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Net Zero Industry Act this Autumn. While I am relieved to hear the UK will not sit back and shrug its shoulders as good people and projects leave the UK, the question on everyone’s lips is “can he afford to wait that long?”. Boards are already impatient to see the case for continued and new investment here in the UK. It is time for the government to set out its stall – persuasively – and action a swift response: every week counts in the race to build this industry. 

There is a powerful case to make. The UK is blessed with significant CO2 storage capacity in the North Sea and the East Irish Sea, and a strong offshore skills base, both of which make us uniquely placed to become one of the global leaders on CCUS deployment.  Critically for long term planning, there is widespread political consensus around CCUS’ vital role in reducing industrial emissions and enabling a Net Zero power system, as evidenced by the recent second reading of the Energy Bill in the House of Commons. The Bill provides an investable regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage and world-leading carbon capture business models that minimise subsidy and provide long-term contractual certainty to investors.   

All that is needed to create a haven for CCUS development is an injection of confidence to take the big decisions, to accept some inevitable risks and to set aside any philosophical discomfort with the “build it and they will come” approach which is being pursued elsewhere.  The UK has developed a strong framework for a new industry – it just needs to turn on the funding tap and watch the inward investment flood in.   

The counterfactual of continuing to constrain the roll-out of CCUS through extended allocation processes will slam the brakes on the UK economy as private investment across a range of key ‘economic lifeblood’ sectors, such as manufacturing, energy and transport is either put on hold or finds another home.  Where civil servants and regulators need more resources to move at pace they should be given them, and quickly.  There is no option for the UK economy to stand still in this global race for the ‘once in a century opportunity’ – we have to speed up or we will be left behind. 

The UK’s CCUS policy has made tremendous progress in the past few months. I’m thrilled the industry is finally able to advance towards delivering the first eight projects on the ground. It really does feel like the official beginning of CCUS implementation in the UK.   

Just think what could be achieved with a bit more ‘bounce’ in the springboard. 


Current CCUS cluster proposals in the UK

CCSA Blog: Looking back at the CCUS 2022 Conference, by Murillo Salvador, CCSA EU Communications and Events Officer

Posted on: November 25th, 2022 by ccsaEditor

When I arrived in London on the week of 17 October, the air was full of tension. The whole country was in a critical state. The negative consequences of both the climate and energy crises converged, and the government was on the brink of collapse. In a strangely positive way, our CCUS 2022 conference could not have been more timely.

Many of these themes – energy, climate, jobs, justice and the transition – were discussed during our conference. There were protesters, too. And it was a pleasure to witness these discussions. The panels, mixing speakers from across the continent, pointed at the clear momentum we now see in Europe for carbon capture and storage, as well as carbon removals. Enabling these discussions was but one aspect of the increasing coordination between CCSA’s Brussels and London offices, reflecting the need for Europe to tackle challenges together.

There were many speakers from the EU at the conference. Take for instance the session on strengthening cooperation for cross-border transport of CO2 (recording here). The panellists explained how policy can build confidence into the value chain, providing legal predictability for investors and generally speeding up deployment across Europe. The need to enable storage capacity was stressed by a European Commission official, with 4.6 million tonnes of CO2 that will need to be stored by key EU-funded projects between 2028-29.

I was delighted to meet so many of our members at the event, even if only briefly as I ran around backstage, fuelled by coffee, doing my small part to ensure that everything went smoothly. It feels particularly good to contribute towards making such a grand (and in-person!) event happen, after the successive lockdowns and pandemic.

This sounds like common sense: Wandering around the coffee breaks, the buffet, and the drinks reception, it was clear to me that bringing people together is extremely important. I hope that all delegates left the venue with their pockets full of business cards, and questions to follow up on and relationships to develop. This is also what the conference was all about.

There will be opportunities to meet and pick up the discussions again next year. A European conference will take place in the Spring and the annual CCUS Conference will also return in the Autumn. Our Brussels office remains open and actively engaged and we warmly welcome you to come and visit us on the 6th floor of Avenue des Arts 44.

Check out this page to read a summary of the CCUS 2022 conference, download the presentations and view photos and videos from both days.

CCSA Blog: CCUS in the Energy Bill – Why policy is key to delivering Net Zero, by Joe Butler-Trewin

Posted on: August 3rd, 2022 by ccsaEditor

During my first week with the CCSA, London was baking in 40-degree heat. This followed a trend of ever-increasing global temperatures. I could not help but think that while I sweltered on my commute, this should come as a stark reminder that our planet needs help.

My background is strategic communications campaigns and public relations. Having previously worked for an MP with a focus on green industrialism and climate protection, I am incredibly excited to join the CCSA as their new Communications & Public Affairs Officer.

I was pleased, on my first day no less, to be reading the Government’s Energy Security Bill, and preparing for its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords. One of the key aims of the bill is to accelerate the growth of carbon capture and storage by putting in place enabling powers for the setting up and scaling up CO2 transport and storage networks across the UK. This a big step forward towards delivery of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy, which relies on the CCUS industry to capture and store over 50 million tonnes by 2035 if the UK is to remain on track to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.

The potential of CCUS to not only help protect the environment but also to create approximately 10,000 high skilled jobs and protect up to 50,000 traditional, heavy industry careers by 2050. It’s great to see that the bill will work to incentivise businesses to build and operate CCUS initiatives by using business models such as capital and operational support funding. However, a clear deployment plan, setting out how revenue support contracts will be awarded is needed as soon as possible to maintain the level of Industry investment in project development required to meet 2030 deployment targets.

As laid out in our CCUS delivery plan 2035, the CCSA believes that an accelerated capture and storage build out rate should be pursued to reduce deployment costs and exploit the supply chain and export opportunities arising from this new global industry. The Energy Bill is a strong step from Government in establishing the UK as a global leader of CCUS and a champion of Net Zero energy and clean manufacturing – saving the planet can be good for the economy too!

CCSA Blog: CCUS Delivery Plan 2035 – The time to deliver is now, by Ruth Herbert CCSA CEO

Posted on: March 31st, 2022 by ccsaEditor

With recent record high temperatures at both of the Earth’s poles, it is clear that we cannot afford another moment of delay in combating the climate emergency.

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) is a crucial tool in addressing this emergency, and I believe we can deliver the scale of CCUS required to meet the UK’s Net Zero pathway, rapidly reducing our emissions and leading in the development of this vital low-carbon technology.

In November 2021, the UK Government published its Net Zero Strategy which set a target for reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions to 78% below 1990 levels by 2035 – in line with the Sixth Carbon Budget. The strategy sets out pathways for the deployment of low-carbon technologies that can deliver the deep cuts in our emissions required over the coming decades.

Carbon Capture has been around for decades and when combined with permanent storage, it can be used to abate emissions at source or remove greenhouse gases directly from the atmosphere. The Net Zero Strategy envisages that the UK will need to store up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030, rising to at least 50 million tonnes a year by 2035 to remain on a pathway consistent with achieving Net Zero by 2050.

The strategy includes a number of envisaged pathways for capture and storage of emissions from power, industrial and hydrogen production plants, as well as for greenhouse gas removals through Bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) and Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS). The Net Zero Strategy also requires the UK power sector to be fully decarbonised by 2035, subject to security of supply, and this will require a proportion of  carbon capture on gas-fired power stations and switching to CCUS-enabled (blue) hydrogen.

Ambition and government strategies are one thing. Delivery is another. Our CCUS Delivery Plan 2035 is the industry’s response to these ambitions. We can and must deliver, and we need to act now to stay on the pathway to meeting the Sixth Carbon Budget.

Only by building all the major projects currently under consideration in CCUS clusters and deploying CO2 shipping and other non-pipeline transport solutions alongside rapid CO2 pipeline network and storage development, can we meet the UK Governments 2035 ambition. Given the long lead in times for this infrastructure, the clear message from industry is that ‘2035’ is essentially ‘now’ in terms of the urgent need to plan the roll-out of CCUS across all regions in the UK.

CCUS is crucial for the competitiveness of the UK. Deploying CCUS in all of our industrial heartlands will provide an opportunity to lead the global green industrial revolution and reduce our reliance on imports with new UK products, such as clean steel, clean cement and clean hydrogen, and attract inward investment through our offer of a clear route to decarbonisation for heavy industries. As one of the first movers on CCUS, there is also a huge opportunity to exploit our world-leading skills and plentiful offshore storage capacity to offer decarbonisation services to Europe.

Providing there is more clarity on greenhouse gas removals and non-pipeline transport, the work on business models looks set to deliver a viable investment framework. What is now required to unlock that investment, and further develop the CCUS project pipeline, is a UK Government commitment to a steady build-out rate through a multi-year programme of contract allocation rounds, similar to the 2013 Electricity Market Reform (EMR) Delivery Plan that enabled the scale up and cost reduction seen in offshore wind over the last decade.

I believe by bringing together the CCUS industry, UK Government and other stakeholders we can make this vision a reality. By implementing the actions set out in the CCUS Delivery Plan 2035 we can play a leading role in combating the climate emergency and give our industrial regions the opportunity to lead the green industrial revolution.

The time to deliver CCUS is now.


For more information, read the full ‘CCUS Delivery Plan 2035, watch the ‘Delivery Plan Animation’ and for further insight be sure to watch an overview discussion of the report from the CCUS APPG chaired by Alex Cunningham MP which is available on demand on our website.




COP26 – Keeping The Momentum Going, by Ruth Herbert CCSA CEO

Posted on: February 15th, 2022 by ccsaEditor

Welcome to the Carbon Capture and Storage Association’s (CCSA) new blog – where we will post stories, reviews and opinions on a variety of current CCUS topics in the UK, Europe and internationally.

I joined as CEO of the CCSA in October 2021, and it has been a busy few months to say the least!  In October 2021, on my second day in post, the UK Government announced the first CCUS projects that will be taken forward under Track1 of the CCUS Cluster Sequencing process, namely the HyNet North West cluster and the East Coast Cluster, with the Scottish Cluster announced as a reserve cluster.

On the same day, the UK Government published the Net Zero Strategy – which set out a new target for CCUS of 20 – 30 Mt carbon dioxide to be captured and stored each year by 2030. This is a three-fold increase of ambition from the Ten Point Plan target of 10 Mt per year, agreed less than a year before. No sooner had we had a chance to digest this news before it was time to travel to Glasgow for COP26. The last COP I attended was COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, whilst Head of International CCUS at DECC.  Whilst COP15 was a similar event in terms of number of people attending, it could not have been more different with regard to CCUS. At COP15, CCUS did not receive much attention, whereas COP26 saw CCUS rising up the agenda, driven by the need to consider how to achieve Net Zero across the global economy.

In terms of events, the CCSA was involved in seven CCUS side events, including an official UNFCCC broadcast event with our COP26 Partners; IEA GHG, University of Texas at Austin, International CCS Knowledge Centre and Bellona.  This level of exposure was unprecedented, with some 32 CCUS events taking place over the course of the two weeks.

Inside the negotiating rooms where the real action was, progress was made on several key areas –finalisation of the rules for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, creating the framework for a global carbon market; the Glasgow Climate Pact commitment to phase down unabated coal power; and the pledge to mobilise $500bn by 2025 to help developing countries adapt to climate effects, as well as the commitment to update Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) again by the end of 2022. The agreement on Article 6 rules makes the Paris Agreement fully operative and the wording implies that the global carbon market will be technology neutral, meaning it should be applicable to both CCUS and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies.  As always, the devil will be in the detail, and we will have to wait to see the further recommendations requested by the Parties on Article 6 definitions, to understand how the framework will be applied.

Three months on, I’m keen to see the UK government maintain the positive momentum of COP26 and keep the pressure on countries to consider the important role CCUS and CDR technologies can play in realising Nationally Determined Contributions, creating an environment for these technologies to flourish and therefore get us on track to reach net zero goals and limit global warming to 1.5°C.

For more insights on COP26 be sure to watch our webinar ‘CCUS reflections from COP26 and international CCUS developments’ with fellow panellists Tim Dixon (IEAGHG) and Guloren Turan (GCCSI) available on demand on our website.