More carbon capture cluster projects needed

Responding to the UK Government’s announcement on the selected carbon capture and storage ‘cluster’ projects to be taken forward for Track 1 negotiations for deployment in the mid-2020s, OGUK has underlined that the UK will need all of the proposed cluster projects – and more – if it is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It comes as Energy Minister Greg Hands announced that the Hynet cluster, based in the north west of England, and the East Coast cluster, made up of Zerocarbon Humber and Net Zero Teesside, have been selected as the Track 1 clusters. The Scottish cluster Acorn was announced as a reserve project for Track 1.

There are several other carbon capture cluster projects currently in development and scheduled to be put forward for Track 2 of the Government’s plan, including Acorn (North East Scotland), V Net Zero (also based in Humberside), the Delphynus cluster in South Humber, as well as one based in the Southampton area.

In total, they could help the UK capture up to 100 million tonnes of carbon per year to decarbonise sectors, including heavy freight and marine transport, as well as steel, chemical and cement manufacturing. The Climate Change Committee, has said technologies such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen are critical in helping the UK get to net zero.

Later this week (Thursday 21 October), OGUK will release its Energy Transition Outlook report that will outline the UK’s full potential for carbon capture and other crucial greener technologies like hydrogen, as well as progress in reducing its own emissions in the production of cleaner oil and gas the UK will still need as it transitions to a low carbon energy mix.

OGUK sustainability director Mike Tholen said: “This is a landmark moment for the UK in showing the world how they can achieve net zero emissions and the selection of Hynet and the East Coast Cluster is positive progress. However, we are going to need all of these carbon capture and hydrogen projects and more if the country is to become carbon neutral by 2050.

“Of all the carbon capture clusters in development, every single one of them involves an oil and gas company. With 50 years of expertise producing energy, the UK’s changing oil and gas industry is using its skills to help the country hit net zero. We look forward to seeing both Track 1 and Track 2 clusters make progress urgently, turbo charging progress towards our climate goals while providing jobs and opportunities to energy communities across the UK.”