UK Launches Revised Carbon Capture Program

The BBC reports that the British government is launching a revised program to encourage development of carbon capture and storage technologies (CC&S). It plans to dole out a billion pounds to selected projects, in the expectation that the CC&S industry will be delivering £ 6.5 billion in economic benefits by the end of the next decade. An earlier attempt at this kind of program was a complete bust,  with all nine initial contestants withdrawing their bids, most recently a project run by Scottish Power at its Longannet station in Fife.

According to the BBC report, sharply escalating costs of the proposed projects was the reason generally given for pull-outs.

The new program is somewhat broader than the first, in which only post-combustion carbon capture technologies were eligible. Now pre-combustion approaches also can qualify, notably oxy-combustion or oxy-fueling, a relatively dark horse technology that has been slowly gaining ground on the outside track. The Swedish national utility Vattenfall demonstrated oxycombustion at its Schwarze Pumpe lignite-fueled plant in eastern Germany, and last year the Department of Energy switched gears, picking oxycombustion for its proposed FutureGen demonstration, ditching IGCC, up to then the front-running technology.

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