carbon capture and storage


Carbon capture: What is it and how does it fight climate change?

A groundbreaking power plant is being announced by the UK government. The carbon capture plant is constructed to prevent the majority of the CO2 it produces from entering the atmosphere.

How does carbon capture work?

CO2, the primary cause of climate change, is released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal are burned to generate electricity.

The majority of the produced CO2 is either reused or stored underground by the carbon capture process.

The UK government needs another power station where carbon dioxide is caught and put away under the North Ocean – either in old oil and gas supplies, or porous rocks known as saline springs.

Why is carbon capture needed?

The government’s commitment to eliminate carbon emissions from UK electricity production by 2035 includes carbon capture power plants. Even though that date now appears unlikely, it still hopes to construct at least one by the middle of the 2020s.

There has been a major extension in sustainable power somewhat recently – specifically the utilisation of seaward wind – yet the unsettled inquiry is the manner by which to keep the lights on when the breeze isn’t blowing.

Along with the increased use of nuclear energy and other rapidly evolving technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture power stations are thought to be a part of the solution.

Where will the brand-new power plant be constructed?

There are three ideas being considered: two in the vicinity of Redcar on Teesside, one at Keadby in north Lincolnshire.

To store the captured CO2, a pipeline would be needed to transport it under the North Sea for all of these scenarios.

How much CO2 will be removed by the power plant?

The United Kingdom produced 425 million tonnes of CO2 in 2021. That has decreased by nearly 50% since 1990.

In comparison, the amount captured at these proposed power plants is very small.

None of the three carbon capture facilities that have been proposed claim to capture more than two million tonnes annually.

By 2030, the government intends to capture between 20 and 30 million tonnes of CO2 annually. That could also include power generation and other industrial processes.

What is the cost of carbon capture?

There has been this technology for decades. It has mostly been used in industries where the CO2 that is captured can be used again, like extracting oil and gas from underground reserves.

Utilizing the CO2 from the proposed new power plants is not in the cards.

A brand-new gas power station at Keadby, which will generate enough electricity for nearly a million homes, will cost £350 million.

Catherine Crude of energy organisation SSE let the BBC know that building a comparable estimated internal combustion station with carbon catch would generally twofold the expense.

The expectation is that the cost will eventually fall. In the last ten years, for instance, the price of renewable energy has fallen dramatically.

Some people believe that carbon capture is too expensive and that the money would be better spent on renewable energy and power storage (such as batteries).

Greenpeace UK’s Dr. Doug Parr says, “These power stations look like another excuse for the government to show preference for their friends in the oil and gas industry, making energy more expensive to the disadvantage of everyone else.”

Does carbon capture exist in any other nations?

According to a report from the Global CCS Institute, there will only be 30 carbon capture facilities in operation worldwide in September 2022.

Nearly all of these are connected to industrial facilities that carry out processes like the production of fertiliser or natural gas.

It is anticipated that the pipeline from the UK power station will be utilised by other industries to store CO2 beneath the North Sea.

At Boundary Dam in western Canada, a coal-fired power plant is the only carbon capture power plant currently in operation.

However, a number of carbon capture gas power stations, the majority of which are in the United States, are in the process of construction and are modeled after those proposed for the United Kingdom.



At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect for the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

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