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Coal Fired Power Stations: Carbon Sequestration

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the (a) incentives and (b) legal framework necessary for companies to retrofit carbon capture and storage technology to coal-fired power stations; and if he will publish any such assessment. (189914)

Ongoing policy development work by my Department is aimed at promoting the widespread deployment of CCS on new-build and existing power stations and we are assessing a variety of options to achieve this, including possible incentives.

Companies wishing to retrofit the full chain of carbon capture and storage technology would have to obtain the usual planning and regulatory consents. The Energy Bill 2008 contains provisions that will enable the storage of carbon dioxide offshore.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what contingency plans he has for circumstances where carbon capture and storage technologies proposed in relation to coal-fired power stations fail to work in (a) Kingsnorth, Kent and (b) the UK. (190104)

The separate processes involved in CCS—capture, transport and storage—have been proven on an individual basis over many years. The purpose of the commercial-scale CCS demonstration project supported by the UK Government is to test the viability of CCS on a commercial-scale coal power station.

In the unlikely event that CCS does not prove technologically viable for fossil fuel power stations, or other major sources of carbon dioxide emissions, the Government remain committed to taking actions required to achieve our domestic emissions reductions targets of at least a 60 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, with at least a 26 per cent. reduction by 2020 (on 1990 baseline).