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UK’s carbon capture strategy based on outdated and unrealistic assumptions

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Carbon Tracker or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK's ambitious carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) strategy, aiming to capture 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030 with £20 billion in funding, is based on outdated and overly optimistic assumptions, according to a new report from Carbon Tracker
• This approach risks committing the country to a costly, fossil-fuel-dependent future, despite the availability of cleaner, more affordable alternatives

🔭 The context: Since the Climate Change Committee's recommendations in December 2020, the landscape has dramatically changed
• CCUS technology costs have more than doubled, and the anticipated need for carbon capture might be far less due to the growth of renewables, battery storage, and flexible technologies

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Carbon Tracker's analysis suggests that the UK's focus on CCUS for steel production, gas-fired power plants, and biomass-based power generation (BECCS) could lock in high costs and dependency on fossil fuels, overshadowing cheaper and cleaner energy alternatives
• The report urges a reassessment of CCUS targets, prioritizing sectors where they offer the most value, such as cement production and hydrogen

⏭️ What's next: The report calls for urgent revision of the UK's CCUS targets and a shift in focus to high-value applications
• It also highlights the need to stabilize the UK's carbon market to make CCUS competitive, recommending a stable carbon price of at least £100 per ton

💬 One quote: "CCUS technology has proven to be much more complex and expensive than thought, while renewables cost reductions have dramatically changed the landscape," said Lorenzo Sani, Associate Analyst at Carbon Tracker and report author.

📈 One stat: The UK aims to capture and store 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030 but faces a significant challenge, as most CCUS applications require a carbon price of at least £100 per ton to be competitive with unabated technologies.

Click for more news covering the latest on Environmental Sustainability

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