UK Government Gambles on Carbon Capture and Storage Tech Despite Scientists’ Doubts – Slashdot
The UK government will defy scientific doubts to place a massive bet on technology to capture and store carbon dioxide in undersea caverns, to enable an expansion of oil and gas in the North Sea. From a report: Grant Shapps, the energy and net zero secretary, on Thursday unveiled the “powering up Britain” strategy, with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at its heart, during a visit to a nuclear fusion development facility in Oxford. Shapps said the continued production of oil and gas in the North Sea was still necessary, and that the UK had a geological advantage in being able to store most of the carbon likely to be produced in Europe for the next 250 years in the large caverns underneath the North Sea. “Unless you can explain how we can transition [to net zero] without oil and gas, we need oil and gas,” he said. “I am very keen that we fill those cavities with storing carbon. I think there are huge opportunities for us to do that.”
Shapps pointed to the $24.7bn the government is planning to spend over 20 years on developing CCS, which he said would generate new jobs and make the UK a world leader in the technology. Among the 1,000 pages of proposals to be published on Thursday will be boosts for offshore wind, hydrogen, heat pumps and electric vehicles. A green finance strategy, to be set out by the chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, will be aimed at mobilising private-sector money for investments in green industry, and there will be a consultation on carbon border taxes, aimed at penalising the import of high-carbon goods from overseas. But the plans contain no new government spending, and campaigners said they missed out key elements, such as a comprehensive programme of home insulation and a full lifting of the ban on new onshore wind turbines in England.