The UK is to join a US initiative targeting carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other carbon management technologies as the two countries seek to accelerate the scaling of emission reduction projects.
The agreement was announced during UK Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Grant Shapps’ visit to the US this week, to offer support to US President Joe Biden’s Carbon Management Challenge initiative.
First announced last month, the White House-led programme aims to encourage countries to rapidly accelerate projects to abate carbon dioxide emissions as well as permanently sequester carbon, through CCS and CO2 removal (CDR) technologies.
The initiative, which the US is looking to extend to other partnering countries, will work to deliver concrete announcements for CCS and CDR advancement at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates in November.
“We’re world leaders in renewable technologies and by supporting President Biden’s Carbon Management Challenge we are taking a step closer to realising our huge potential and be at the forefront of this exciting industry of the future,” Shapps said in a statement.
On the relationship with the US, he added: “We are forging ever-closer links to deliver cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy.”
In the Spring Budget, the UK earmarked £20 billion ($25.3 billion) in funding towards CCS. The country has a target to deploy two CCS clusters by 2025, and two more by 2030.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced plans to compile survey data to produce a comprehensive mapping of carbon storage potential in the UK North Sea waters.
The resource is aimed at attracting investors and developers to advance the CCS sector in the UK.
According to existing government estimates, underground storage sites beneath the seabed in UK waters could store up to 78 billion tonnes of CO2, between geological reservoirs and depleted oil and gas fields.
The US government was seen as a strong backer of CCS, for which state funding was set out in the form of tax breaks in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The 45Q tax credits provisions in the IRA raised the credits for carbon capture from $50 per tonne to $85 per tonne of CO2 emissions avoided, creating a revenue and cost model for CCS projects to plan against.
The conditions have seen a growing wave of new projects providing CCS options, Talos Energy said earlier this month.
Shapps’ meetings this week, including with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, will also focus on energy-security concerns for the US and the UK, and how co-operation between the countries can address such issues.
The US and Europe have forged ever-closer energy ties, including with the UK, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent disruption of energy trade between Moscow and Europe.
As European imports of Russian natural gas plummeted, the US stepped up its exports of liquefied natural gas to the bloc, becoming the single largest LNG supplier to Europe and the UK in 2022 as well as the largest LNG exporter globally.