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The importance of CCUS on the road towards net-zero
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Alan Mortimer
Director of Innovation, Renewables

The recent Committee on Climate Change report provides a stark warning on the threat of climate change and the need for much stronger action to reduce the United Kingdom’s (UK) long-term emissions.

The future

Net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050. That’s what the UK needs to deliver to meet its commitment on the Paris Agreement, and to limit the global average temperature increase, in-line with IPCC recommendations.

The report highlights the mix of technologies, innovations and actions required to meet the net-zero target and the challenges around how these can be delivered. Carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) technology on a large scale is essential if we are to decarbonise our industries.

One of the key solutions

CCUS is an area where Wood has extensive experience, having been involved in over 60 CCUS projects across the world. These include benchmarking and technology comparison studies, individual plant and cluster concept designs and FEED studies. This breadth of work has given us unique insight on the policy landscape, project financing and delivery challenges that need to be considered in order to successfully deliver CCUS projects.

CCUS is one of the technologies that can be deployed at scale to support the decarbonisation of multiple sectors: heat, transport, heavy industry and power generation. It also ensures efficient system integration in applications where it can use existing gas infrastructure for transport and storage.

The CCC report states that there are 43 large scale CCUS projects globally but none in the UK. Wood has the technical capability to support the deployment of CCUS in line with The Clean Growth Strategy’s stated ambition to deploy CCUS at scale during the 2030s.

Scaling the use of CCUS technology would enable the UK to continue to use fossil fuels as it transitions towards a more sustainable energy mix. The application of CCUS technology needs to be legislated for and supported with significant investment to help develop it further to enable demonstration projects to be delivered in the 2020’s and play its critical role in meeting the objectives of the CCC Report.

Legislation, legal and market forces will be the key drivers, but industry engagement is also essential to shaping the delivery of CCUS policy and technology. We are excited to be working towards bringing solutions such as CCUS to the UK market and other countries at the vanguard of the energy transition.

The pace of change

Energy transition is a movement that will change the way we generate and use all forms of energy, and the speed of change must be rapid.

We need to form new partnerships, embrace technology, innovation, and campaign for changes to policy to effectively transition to more sustainable and affordable energy systems. We believe this can be done in a way that generates substantial economic and employment benefits, particularly in countries showing leadership such as the UK.

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