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Reference Number NE/H013326/1
Title Carbon Capture and Storage: Realising the Potential
Status Completed
Energy Categories FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 capture/separation) 50%;
FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 storage) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 50%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 50%;
Principal Investigator Dr R (Rob ) Gross
No email address given
Centre for Environmental Policy
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source NERC
Start Date 01 April 2010
End Date 31 March 2012
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £122,751
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region London
Programme UKERC Research Fund
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr R (Rob ) Gross , Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor PJG (Peter ) Pearson , Architecture, Cardiff University (0.001%)
Dr J (John ) Gibbins , Sch of Engineering and Electronics, University of Edinburgh (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Research Partner in China (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The following grants : NE/H013555/1, NE/H013326/1, NE/H013474/1 are all linked to each other

The project has three main aims: (i) to contribute to UKERC's research programme in the areas of energy supply, systems, CCS pathways and innovation systems; (ii) to provide analysis and tools to inform UK government policies related to CCS; and (iii) to advance knowledge for technology appraisal. These aims give rise to a number of more detailed objectives that are summarised below:

  1. To contribute to UKERC's research programme by:
    • Engaging productively with UKERC's Energy Supply and Energy Systems themes. The project will meet their need for an independent analysis of the technical, economic and financial uncertainties for CCS technologies - and how these technologies could fit into decarbonised electricity systems
    • Strengthening UKERC's understanding of possible pathways for development and deployment of CCS technologies (building on the roadmap developed in UKERC phase 1). The project's CCS pathways to 2030 will incorporate explicit milestones, and criteria for measuring their successful attainment by developers, policy makers and other stakeholders.
    • Contributing to UKERC's understanding of low carbon innovation processes. The methodology developed by the project to analyse CCS technologies will also be designed to be applicable to other emerging low carbon technologies
  2. To inform UK government policies by:
    • Helping policy makers to understand the conditions for successful commercialisation of CCS with respect to a range of criteria. The project will contribute in particular to the understanding of how innovation policy could support CCS, and how changes in energy market structure could affect the investment climate for CCS technologies
    • Developing a clear set of policy implications and specific advice for UK policymakers concerning generic approaches to technology appraisal and CCS-specific milestones and criteria. The project methodology will help to inform policy decisions on whether CCS is 'proven'; (and therefore whether it is ready for mandating and compulsory retrofit)
  3. To advance knowledge for technology appraisal by:
    • Developing a robust generic, interdisciplinary approach to the appraisal of emerging, uncertain low carbon technologies. The project will develop an integrated assessment framework of quantitative and qualitative metrics for assessing and measuring progress for different dimensions of uncertainty
    • Contributing original case studies, methodologies, analyses and data to the innovation literature. This will include insights from 8-10 analogous technologies as well as general lessons for CCS technologies. These contributions will be made through a series of discussion papers, conference papers and academic journal papers
    • Developing working partnerships with researchers in other countries in or der to compare potential pathways for CCS deployment in the UK with those in the USA and China, and to promote mutual learning on methods for appraisal of CCS.
Abstract

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies are potentially important contributors to global efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions of CO2. If successfully developed and deployed, they could allow the continued use of fossil fuels whilst achieving large reductions in emissions. Although under active development, there are significant uncertainties about the technical, economic and financial viability of CCS.

This project will conduct an independent, inter-disciplinary assessment of CCS viability from now to 2030, by a three-institution partnership from the Universities of Sussex, Edinburgh and Imperial College in close co-operation with research user organisations. Results will contribute to academic understanding, public policy making and business analysis of CCS. The project team includes expertise in CCS engineering and storage; in the analysis of low carbon innovation; and in energy economics and policy.

The project has three main objectives:

  • To help policy makers to understand the conditions for successful commercialisation of CCS technologies with respect to a range of criteria - and to inform policy decisions on whether to make these technologies mandatory for fossil fuel power plants and other large sources of fossil fuel emissions
  • To develop a new approach to the assessment of emerging low carbon technologies by studying past innovations with similar characteristics to CCS, and the way in which they were developed and deployed.
  • To contribute to the UK Energy Research Centre's research programme by providing a source of independent expertise in CCS technologies, by improving understanding of their potential role in low carbon energy systems, and by developing tools to assess technologies with multiple uncertainties

To meet these objectives, the research project includes three main research activities and a programme of engagement and dissemination. The research activities are:

  1. The identification of key dimensions of uncertainty for CCS. Dimensions of uncertainty include issues such as scaling up from demonstration to utility scale (CCS technologies have yet to achieve this), integrating component technologies with one another (components of CCS systems exist, but not in an integrated system) and public acceptability. This activity will draw on insights on technology appraisal from the academic literature and practitioners (e.g. policy makers and financiers).
  2. Technology case studies. This activity will examine historical and contemporary technologies that can help to understand the dimensions of uncertainty for CCS. 8-10 technologies will be chosen for analysis, including the way in which government policy, private sector strategies and other factors have affected their development. Possible case studies include nuclear power, North Sea oil and gas investment, and technologies from the military, aerospace and other utility sectors.
  3. The analysis of CCS development and deployment to 2030. This activity will explore how CCS technologies might be demonstrated and deployed in the UK. The case studies of other technologies and the dimensions of uncertainty will be used to analyse these 'pathways' to deployment. A key issue for the analysis will be influence of changes in the energy market on the risks of investing in CCS technologies. The project will also compare possible pathways for CCS in the UK with similar analyses in other countries - particularly China and the USA

With respect to dissemination and engagement, the project will produce outputs regularly from an early stage, publish them on a project website, and will produce a final report in spring 2012. The project will develop specific advice and implications for UK policy. It will engage with stakeholders such as policy makers, firms, regulators and environmental groups through a steering group that will meet regularly to advise on progress and emerging outputs.

Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/10/10