The UK government has pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions - currently around 650 million tonnes each year - by 80 per cent from 1990's level by 2050 and is committed to encouraging the development of competitive Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the UK and abroad.
CCS uses innovative and established technology to capture, transport and permanently store carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel power stations and industrial emitters beneath the seabed in natural porous rock formations or depleted oil and gas fields.
It is a ‘bridging technology’ that is widely recognised as one of the most significant potential contributors to reducing carbon emissions while alternative clean energy sources are further developed. The CCS technology is currently the only means of meeting 2050 carbon targets and keeping long term energy costs low for consumers. It does this by providing flexible low carbon electricity generating capacity to balance other energy sources. It allows fossil fuels to be maintained within the UK generation mix, which could increase domestic security of supply, and is the only pathway for many carbon intensive industries (e.g. chemicals and steel) to reduce their emissions affordably.
CCS holds investment potential for National Grid through the development of transportation networks serving the UK’s many geographic clusters of carbon dioxide emitters. Our portfolio of expertise makes us ideally placed to take a leading role in the development of the UK CCS industry. National Grid Carbon Ltd has been created as an independent subsidiary of National Grid to lead the development of carbon dioxide transportation infrastructure in the UK. We are working with industry, universities and government to determine how best to deliver carbon dioxide transportation and storage and to attract new entrants to invest in carbon dioxide storage.
The Humber Cluster
National Grid's first CCS network development is in the Humber, a region that has the highest concentration of carbon dioxide emitters in the UK, equal to around 10 per cent of the UK's total emissions. Our work in the Humber aims to see carbon dioxide captured from this 'cluster' transported by pipeline and safely and permanently stored in geological formations beneath the North Sea.
Analysis shows there could be a reduction of around 40 per cent in the transport and storage costs per tonne of carbon dioxide for two commercial scale capture projects sharing that infrastructure, compared to developing separate solutions. This economy of scale will facilitate the commercial deployment of CCS. Independent analysis (by the ETI, IEA, the TUC and the CCSA amongst others) supports National Grid’s position on CCS clusters, with the latest CCS/TUC analysis indicating that deployment of CCS could result in a reduction in household energy bills of around £82 per annum.
Currently, we are working on the Don Valley and White Rose CCS projects. Find out more about our projects and how we're planning on deploying CCS technology in the UK.
National Grid Carbon is working with 2Co Energy to develop the Don Valley Power Project (formerly known as the Hatfield Project, instigated by Powerfuel Power).
National Grid is working with Capture Power Limited a consortium consisting of Alstom, Drax and BOC to develop the White Rose Project.
On 23 September we launched the next stage of consultation on our plans to construct a pipeline for transporting carbon dioxide.
National Grid responds to CCS funding announcement
National Grid delivers on major milestone for Carbon Capture and Storage