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Carbon Capture and Storage

Volume 528: debated on Thursday 19 May 2011

CCS has the potential to play a very significant role in our future energy mix. The Government are committed to public sector investment in CCS technology for four power stations, including both coal and gas. We aim to reach agreement on the first project and to launch the competition for projects 2 to 4 later this year. We will also publish a CCS road map this autumn.

I thank the Minister for that answer, but is he completely confident that the introduction of a carbon floor price will not result in the collapse of future investment in carbon capture and storage?

The hon. Lady raises an extremely important issue. We are actively discussing that with the companies involved in project 1, and we believe that we can find a way through it to ensure that those plants have a long-term viable future, but I hope she agrees that we are right to be making the future price of carbon clear.

As the former managing director of a risk rating agency, the Secretary of State must be well aware of the corrosive effect of uncertainty on any business, yet he refuses to give green energy the clarity it needs on carbon capture and storage. After the photovoltaic fiasco, the “carbon four” coup and the building regulation bombshell, has he lost all credibility among the green industries?

That is a quite extraordinary question. The Secretary of State has shown real leadership on those issues. In the course of a year, £1 billion not previously available has been made available for carbon capture; we have set up an office of carbon capture and storage to drive forward that work; we have set up a development forum with the industry; we have put in place a regulator framework; and we are putting in place a road map in order to know what needs to happen. In place of the rhetoric and ambition under the previous Government, we are delivering action.