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Chancellor Cancels £1bn CCS Budget

November 25, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




Not immediately apparent from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today is the fact that he has withdrawn the £1bn budget for the CCS competition.

This is from


The announcement was made by posting a regulatory announcement to the London stock exchange.

The statement read: “Today, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, HM Government confirms that the £1 billion ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition is no longer available.

“This decision means that the CCS Competition cannot proceed on its current basis.  We will engage closely with the bidders on the implications of this decision for them.”

The £1bn fund was intended to be allocated via a competition to support the development and deployment of CCS projects in the UK.

The muted announcement comes just hours after the Chancellor George Osborne announced during the Autumn Statement that DECC’s budget will be reduced by 22% over the next four years, delivered through efficiencies in corporate services and reducing the cost of contracts.

This doesn’t take into account DECC’s innovation programme, which will double to £500m over the next five years, ideally to strengthen the future security of supply, reduce the costs of decarbonisation and boost industrial and research capabilities.


The article goes on:


Commenting on the CCS cancellation Claire Jakobsson, head of climate & environment policy at EEF said: “The cuts to the UK’s CCS funding are extremely disappointing, whilst we understand that government has had to make some extremely tough decisions, this one is not in the long term interests of the UK economy or energy consumers

CCS has the potential to halve the costs of decarbonising the UK economy by 2050, which amounts to £32 billion a year by 2050. In choosing to save a relatively small sum of tax payer money in 2015, government is unnecessarily committing vast amount of future energy consumers’ money.


£32 billion? Politicians from all parties, not to mention the obnoxious Gummer and his cronies at the Committee on Climate Change, have been doing their best to hide numbers like this.



The CCS competition was launched by Ed Davey in 2012, when he announced “we have £1bn available to support the upfront costs of early projects along with a commitment to further funding through low carbon Contracts for Difference”.


Two projects have so far been identified and been given initial funding by DECC. The White Rose project at Drax have issued this statement:


Today, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, HM Government confirmed that the £1 billion ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition is no longer available.

Commenting on the news that the budget for the CCS competition is no longer available, Leigh Hackett, CEO of Capture Power, said: “We are surprised and very disappointed by the Government’s decision to cancel the £1bn CCS Commercialisation Programme more than three years into the competition.

“It is too early to make any definitive decisions about the future of the White Rose CCS Project, however, it is difficult to imagine its continuation in the absence of crucial Government support.”


The other project, at Shell’s Peterhead site, don’t appear to have formally responded yet.


The decision by the Chancellor seems to be a recognition that, with the current state of technology, CCS is a dead duck.


Significantly, DECC’s press release on the Autumn Statement reveals extra spending on more promising technologies:


The government’s doubling of investment in DECC’s innovation programme will help position the UK as an international leader in small modular nuclear reactors, and deliver commitments on seed funding for promising new renewable energy technologies and smart grids.

  1. Matt permalink
    November 25, 2015 7:58 pm

    Essentially this is good news, less money wasted to feed state-dependent green energy companies and their lobby / NGO-friends. Sweet to see the worlds most common green-house gas, water vapor, escaping that evil power plant instead of CO2. Years of slashing natural science classes at school have paid off “big”.
    Congratulations to stop CCS – a stupid, and dangerous idea, in mining CO2 is known as silent killer, any leakage will be a disaster.

  2. Knute permalink
    November 25, 2015 8:11 pm

    Thanks for the article. Educational and perhaps a glimmer of hope in denting useless tech.

    The article mentions “small modular nuclear reactors”.
    I am interested in these. Do you have a link to the latest successful pilot projects ?


    • November 25, 2015 8:32 pm

      I understand that Rolls Royce in Derby have been using one for may years.

      Sorry – no link

      • November 25, 2015 9:42 pm

        Rolls have been manufacturing small ones for years, to power the UK’s nuclear powered subs.

      • November 26, 2015 4:13 am

        Well Booker said so in 2013
        ‘Mini-nukes’ beat monster wind farms on every count

        And anyone worried about the safety of siting these mini-reactors conveniently near to cities should remember that for 50 years, Rolls-Royce has been running a small nuclear reactor right next to Derby County football ground. As yet, not a single death has been reported.

        ..Em if it was that easy the Rolls Royce factories would have more than one and not be drawing energy off the grid.

      • November 26, 2015 4:15 am

        In 2013 Rolls Royce US issued a press release about working on ..commercialize small modular reactors

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        November 26, 2015 8:04 am

        Rolls Royce and Associates on Raynesway Derby (the nuclear reactor division) extended and refurbished their premises three or four years ago. This was about the same time as Severn-Trent water built their useless wind turbines, which were still stationary last month. As the demand for nuclear reactors for submarines is fairly low RR & A should be able to ramp up production fairly quickly. Their is a pool of skilled labour in Derby, Rolls Royce Jet Engines, Toyota, Bombardier to name a couple without having to include the rest of the East Midlands.

        When Derby was a nuclear free zone I used to commute along Raynesway, it was a daily reminder of how little local politicians knew about the city they were representing. The Greenham Common Women had a better idea, they picketed the site for a while.

        Derby County have moved closer to RR & A since leaving the Baseball Ground.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 26, 2015 8:57 am

        RR actually discussed this before the ECC Select Committee in the last Parliament, and admitted that the technology is not cost competitive, and they could offer no promise it would become so. You can afford to spend big when powering a nuclear missile submarine or a spaceship. Not so much when you are trying to keep the lights on.

  3. November 25, 2015 9:30 pm

    Some blurb on s.m. reactors here:

    ‘£32 billion a year by 2050’
    About £500 per customer perhaps. Nice 😦

  4. November 25, 2015 9:51 pm

    The real significance of £32 billion per year is that most countries could never afford it, and therefore it would be pointless for the UK (and a few other rich and gullible countries) to do it.

    Low carbon technologies only make sense if most of the world can afford them.

  5. CheshireRed permalink
    November 26, 2015 12:00 am

    Bottom line is Ed Davey launched a deluded crusade to discover a new technology that has so far eluded the world’s biggest and best energy and engineering companies. If it was possible the rewards for a patent-holder would be almost as monstrous as the cost of ‘decarbonisation’, so if they could’ve they would’ve, but they can’t. It’s a dead duck.

    And £32 billion a year for another 35 years? £1.12 Trillion. Quite remarkably insane.

  6. November 26, 2015 4:28 am

    The head of DECC’s CCS prog has not blogged or tweeted for 13 months since giving-up answering our questions on his hyperbolic CCS blogpost
    He’s still there, he flew to a big EU CCS meeting a few weeks ago.

  7. November 26, 2015 7:37 am

    More on SMRs from Prof Ian Fells and Candida Whitmill at Penultimate Power UK Limited. See for example

  8. November 26, 2015 6:28 pm

    ‘Analysts say, for instance, that capturing carbon can almost double the cost of building a new coal-fired power plant, and can add up to 50 percent to the price of a natural gas facility.’

    There’s also the question of how it is ‘captured’. Probably best to use it somewhere else than to try and store it (yet more expense).

    Better still, stop being silly and forget the whole absurdly expensive nonsensical idea.

  9. Russ Wood permalink
    November 28, 2015 2:14 pm

    Just as well they dropped it! Otherwise, we (the skeptics) would have to saturate the CCS company’s working environment with “Remember Lake Nyos!” slogams!

    • Russ Wood permalink
      November 28, 2015 2:15 pm

      Erp, sorry! ‘SLOGANS’!

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