Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in the UK would generate jobs and create a market worth £15 billion ($24.5 billion) to £35 billion ($57 billion) by 2030, according to a joint report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).
The report, The Economic Benefits of CCS in the UK, says the government should take action to boost CCS — and the economy.
Key findings include:
- Carbon capture and storage can play a vital role in helping the UK meet its statutory target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. It estimates that without CCS, the cost of meeting this target will rise by £30 billion ($49 billion to £40 billion ($65 billion) per year.
- Inclusion of CCS in the mix of low-carbon technologies would result in a 15 percent reduction in wholesale electricity prices.
- Each new-build CCS power plant would generate between 1,000 and 2,500 jobs in construction, with a further 200 to 300 jobs in operation, maintenance and the associated supply chain.
- CCS could help the UK to retain existing industries, such as coal and gas power generation, and support energy-intensive industries (such as chemicals, steel and cement manufacture) which employ 800,000 people directly and in supply chains.
- The total economic benefits of CCS could reach £2 billion ($3 billion) to £4 billion ($6.5 billion) per year by 2030.
In the US, the Department of Energy has made available $8 billion in loan guarantee authority to support advanced fossil energy projects including carbon capture and storage that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. The first deadline for applications is Feb. 28.