Britain could have to pay an extra £20 billion to decarbonise its economy by failing to implement carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology, according to a new report.

In a letter to the House of Commons’ Energy & Climate Change Select Committee, the Energy Technology Institute said a delay from 2020 to 2030 could cost between £1bn and £2bn a year.

The committee is running an inquiry into Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement to scrap the Conservative party’s manifesto promise of investing £1bn in commercialising CCS.

The ETI said: “Avoiding substantially higher costs in meeting carbon targets in the longer term (post-2030) depends on the UK developing a capability to rapidly rollout CCS infrastructure and capture projects in power, gasification and industry in the 2030s and 2040s.”
CCS still possible

Retro-fitting new gas plants with CCS technology would still be an option, ETI said.

The ETI added: “Recognising that a delay is now inevitable, greater emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring that any new unabated gas plants are both sited and financed in line with any new CCS strategy, even if they are not fitted with CCS from day one.

“This would create the early, visible linkage between rewards for delivery of cost-effective low carbon energy and subsequent long-term retrofit implementation of CCS.”

> Read the letter