So the much-vaunted carbon capture idea for thermal power stations is an economic and technological dud – who knew? PEI reports from Westminster.
British Prime Minister David Cameron clarified the government’s position on carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) when appearing before a House of Commons Liaison Committee on Tuesday evening.
He denied that the Treasury had tied his hands on climate policy and also took issue when questioned why the UK had slipped down the rankings in terms of renewable energy, calling it ‘total and utter nonsense.’
The government had been accused of creating confusion on the subject of CCS as a result of mixed messages in recent weeks from the Prime Minister and energy secretary Amber Rudd. Mr Cameron had previously said CCS was “absolutely crucial” for the UK, so the decision to scrap a £1bn competition for a large-scale trial CCS plant is being criticised by MPs.
Meanwhile Rudd had spoken of the technology’s ‘important future.’ In response to the question ‘Why did you scrap carbon capture and storage investment despite promising to put £1bn into it?’ put forward by the Scottish Nationalist Party’s Angus MacNeil, the Conservative leader dismissed his suggestion that with the government ‘one hand did not know what the other hand is doing.’
Mr Cameron said the last two governments had ‘poured money into these new technologies.’ “At the moment, it seems to me that with carbon capture and storage, while I completely believe in the idea, the technology is not working. CCS is £1bn of capital expenditure, £1bn that we could spend on flood defences, schools or the health service. Even after you’ve spent that £1bn, that doesn’t give you CCS that is competitive in the market. The government hoped the costs would come down. But they did not.”