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UK opens CCS demonstration programme to gas plants

World Coal,

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the UK has confirmed that gas-fired power plants will now be eligible for the £9 billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration programme, which was initially only open to coal-fired power plants.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: “Today the Government is reasserting its mission to lead the world on CCS, by opening our funding process to what could be one of the first ever commercial-scale CCS projects on a gas-fired plant in the world.

The UK looks set to rely on gas for years to come. We won't be able to take the carbon out of all gas plants overnight, but we hope to support the process by investment in new technology now. In the long run carbon capture will help provide us with a secure and affordable energy system and we want to encourage companies with projects on both gas and coal-fired power stations to come forward.”

Huhne emphasised that gas-fired power plants would not face the same emission constraints as coal: “I want to be clear that this does not mean that we are imposing the same emission constraints on gas-fired power plants as on coal in the short or medium-term, and want to encourage companies to come forward with potential projects.”

The UK Government is committed to funding four commercial-scale CCS projects and recently announced that up to £1 billion is to be made available for the first commercial scale CCS demonstration project.

In a statement released on its website, the DECC confirmed that the Government took the decision to include gas-fired power plant projects in the demonstration programme after analysing the net benefits of this approach; including an assessment of the evidence and recommendations from the Climate Change Committee’s second progress report (released in June 2010) and information collected through the market sounding exercise conducted by the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage over the summer.

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