The UK's carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry has the potential to create a jobs boom for the nation, according to a new report by the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA).
The report, performed by engineering consultancy Afry and Cambridge Econometrics, explored the economics of CCUS deployment in the UK under two scenarios.
The first is under the government’s 10-Point Plan for "a green industrial revolution" that would look to capture at least 10 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide by 2030, with further scaling up over the following decade.
The second scenario covers the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget recommendation to capture 22 million tpa of CO2 by 2030, before more than trebling capacity in the 2030s.
Under the CCC scenario, the report found that up to 10,000 new jobs could be created by the mid-2020s and would give the UK “early mover advantage in the global CCUS race".
The report also claims there would be the possibility of an additional 50,000 jobs through export opportunities created under this scenario, while it would too help safeguard 50,000 jobs in the iron, steel, cement, chemicals and refining industries.
The report found that not deploying CCUS would risk forcing those highly emitting industries offshore by the early 2030s in order for the UK to meet its emissions trading scheme limits.
Under the 10-Point Plan scenario, the report found there would still be benefits to the UK however the impact would be smaller overall, including lower levels of job creation and protection.
The report also found that annual funding required to deploy CCUS at the scale required under the two scenarios ranged from £1.2 billion ($1.6 million) under the 10-Point Plan scenario to £2.6 billion under the CCC scenario.
The CCSA argued there had been precedent for decarbonisation spending at that level, citing the benefit to the renewables sector, particularly offshore wind, early last decade from long-term annual funding envelopes known as the Levy Control Framework. It claimed the long-term certainty created by the levy drove deployment and cost reductions in the 2010s.
The report states that derisking CCUS today required visibility of a long-term funding framework, providing an equivalent to the Levy Control Framework.
It added that parallels with renewables and discussions with the industry suggested the framework should extend to roughly 2030 “to provide sufficient certainty to industrial developments needed now”.
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