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Move now on carbon capture to save consumers billions, says report

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Damian Carrington Monday 12 September 2016 01.00 EDT guardianUK

The UK must immediately kickstart an industry to capture and bury carbon emissions in order to save consumers billions a year from the cost of meeting climate change targets, according to a high-level advisory group appointed by ministers. This requires the setting up of a new state-backed company to create the network needed to pipe the emissions into exhausted oil and gas fields under the North Sea, the group said. With this government backing, carbon capture and storage (CCS) could deliver clean electricity at a lower cost than an expanded Hinkley Point nuclear power station and almost all renewables, the group’s report states.

A CCS industry could also provide thousands of jobs, particularly in industrial heartlands such as Teesside and Grangemouth, and help reverse the fortunes of the declining North Sea fossil fuel industry. It could even tackle the major problem of cutting emissions from gas boilers, by enabling clean-burning hydrogen to be pumped into the grid. Failing to deliver CCS would hugely increase the cost of tackling climate change, according to the government’s official climate advisors, the National Audit Office and the UN’s climate science panel. …

… “It is not government subsidy, this is government investment, and with any luck the government will get its money back and better as time goes on,” said Lord Oxburgh. CCS could capture 40% of the UK’s emissions by 2050, according to the report, saving up to £5bn a year compared to alternative strategies….

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/12/uk-must-move-now-on-carbon-capture-to-save-consumers-billions-says-report

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