Carbon capture technology holds potential to unlock around £40 billion investment for UK economy by 2030

Accelerating deployment of carbon capture and storage in the UK could secure around £40 billion of inward investment by 2030, a new study of the technology’s potential reveals today.

The Carbon Capture and Storage Association’s (CCSA) new Delivery Plan has examined the pipeline of potential projects across the United Kingdom to identify the economic opportunities available and threats to successful deployment.

Since the plan was last updated in March 2022, the number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects planned for the UK has grown from 55 projects to over 90 – with enough schemes now in the pipeline to capture around 94 million tonnes of CO2 per year – up 29% from 73 million tonnes last year. To put that in context, that’s equivalent to more than a quarter of total UK emissions. The projects would protect thousands of jobs in existing industries which currently emit lots of CO2, such as cement and steel and other manufacturing, and create many more in new green economy sectors, whilst making a huge contribution to meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

Earlier this year, the CCSA welcomed the government’s commitment to £20 billion of revenue support for CCS deployment. Four industrial clusters have been selected across England and Scotland in a bid to kick start the industry.

But the CCSA study published today warns government support for CCS projects is behind schedule and there isn’t enough clarity on how the £20 billion will be allocated. As many as one in three projects are considering relocating overseas to countries backing the technology more vigorously.

Cross-party consensus is vital for delivery of major infrastructure, which is why, alongside the Delivery Plan, the CCSA is today also publishing a manifesto setting out pledges that MPs on all sides could adopt to speed up the deployment of carbon capture technology across the country. The CCSA will use an extensive programme of events through the party conference season to campaign on the pledges.

The CCSA today outlines five key asks of Government to unlock private capital investment:

  1. Enable timely cluster delivery, including allocation of the £20 billion support
  2. Publish a clear deployment plan for CCUS and commit to regular allocation rounds
  3. Accelerate permitting and consenting
  4. Deliver a healthy supply chain and skilled workforce
  5. Build public support