Yesterday’s announcement that the Government has withdrawn £1bn of financial support for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) was disappointing. While the Government is looking to realign energy policy and focus on short-term cost-efficiencies, it does seem to be to the detriment of innovative, low-carbon technologies.
CCS is a technically sophisticated approach to the low-carbon energy generation. It could yield up to a 90 per cent reduction in the CO2 emissions from burning pulverised coal, while safe-guarding a reliable and affordable source of energy generation. As such, CCS could make a valuable contribution to achieving a low-carbon energy mix.
What’s more, the high quality ashes produced as a by-product of generation could be readily utilised as low-carbon constituents of sustainable construction products. These can help us to develop more environmentally friendly buildings and infrastructure in the UK and safeguard finite raw materials.
So our question is this, with an unstable gas market, uncertainties regarding renewables and new nuclear in its infancy, is now not the time to be thinking smarter about the way we plan to safeguard affordable, low-carbon energy in the future, while tackling ever increasing demand?
What’s more, while we continue to support zero waste to landfill generation, should we not be encouraging new ways for the production and delivery of energy to be more efficient and sustainable?
Energy, like coal ash supplies, is currently secure but that shouldn’t stop us from developing, diversifying and innovating, harnessing opportunities and promoting a low-carbon future.