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Carbon capture in doubt after Norway buries 90pc of budget

October 15, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t GreenSand



The latest bid to develop technology which traps and stores carbon emissions is already in doubt after a key European partner scaled back its plans, days after UK ambitions were reignited.


Norwegian ministers slashed the expected state investment in a trailblazing industrial carbon capture project by 90pc in response to growing political doubts over its costs. The swingeing cut emerged the same day UK ministers pledged to work with international partners in a second bid to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry, after the failure of its £1bn scheme two years ago.

The Norwegian move spells trouble for Britain’s fresh plans because its ambitious linchpin project is considered a key template for the burgeoning industry, in which international collaboration is vital to bring down costs.

“Norway has always been seen as a leader on CCS so it is concerning that there is a proposal to cut the budget,” said Luke Warren, the chief executive of the UK’s CCS Association. “The timing is also unfortunate in a week which has seen both the Netherlands and UK governments set out ambitious new CCS programmes.”

The UK’s clean growth strategy promised the £100m funding to ­develop CCS as part of a raft of 50 low-carbon policies and plans – but government is clear that full-scale CCS will not go ahead unless costs come down. At stake are the carbon-cutting plans of industrial clusters in Teesside, Merseyside, South Wales and Grangemouth which all hope to safeguard their future in the UK’s future low-carbon economy by fitting the new technology…


Gassnova, the state enterprise spearheading Norway’s CCS drive, believes that within the next five years the country could develop a system to rid the whole of Europe of its unwanted carbon emissions. Under the scheme, CO2 from factories all across Europe could be piped on to ships and brought to Norway before the gas is injected into carbon storage sites under the seabed.


It is indeed ironic that Norway has woken up to the fact that CCS is unlikely ever to be economically viable. The UK govt came to the same conclusion two years ago, when it cancelled the £1bn budget for CCS projects at Drax and Peterhead.

Unfortunately Teresa May’s govt is determined to waste more money on the folly.

  1. October 15, 2017 10:58 am

    My worry about carbon capture is that they may succeed and the result may very well be extremely damaging to the atmosphere. The amount of carbon dioxide in the\ atmosphere is already at low levels. The IPCC itself has stated that climate is too chaotic to peermit accurate assessments of future situations, so why not continue to study climate, but keep conclusions until we really have some solid knowledge to work with. The haste “to act” is ridiculous–rather than save ther Earth, they may destroy it.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      October 15, 2017 5:17 pm

      “And the result may very well be extremely damaging to the atmosphere”

      It may also be very damaging to those unfortunate enough to live close to any of the storage sites in the event that one ruptures. Even if such a failure isn’t explosive, CO2 in large quantities will suffocate any air breathing life if it builds up in a natural hollow:

    • Sheri permalink
      October 15, 2017 5:34 pm

      I don’t think saving the earth is the goal. Being PC, raking in tons of money and destroying capitalism seem to be the actual goals. The earth is irrelevant.

  2. October 15, 2017 10:59 am

    The Green Blob is never defeated, it just waits for another minister/chancellor to come along and tries again, but what fun there would be if the technology worked at low cost! Say hello to 10 new coal-fired CCS power stations!

    CCS is really just an industrial process to create liquid CO2, with a bit of co-generation from waste heat. Without a genuine demand for liquid CO2 the thing would go nowhere on Planet Real, but of course we in the decadent West now live in La-La land.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 15, 2017 9:44 pm

      Welding uses CO2 as a shielding gas but not so much in the UK. Argon is the gas of choice. But then driving heavy industry away reduces the amount of welding being carried out so less demand for CO2 anyway.

  3. October 15, 2017 11:02 am

    On Friday the Times pg 8 had 2 articles
    Landlords told to help cut energy bills
    listed a full range of new government energy plans
    And contained a line like “one option is for CO2 to be shipped overseas to Norway”

  4. October 15, 2017 11:06 am

    Greenpeace says CCS doesn’t work
    (I guess they’re a front for people selling wind/solar magic solution and chasing subsidies)

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    October 15, 2017 11:12 am


  6. October 15, 2017 11:13 am

    Client Earth the parasitic lawyers front group says to UK gov
    “Ah you guys don’t have a clear roadmap to reduce CO2, so we’ll keep suing you”
    New Dutch gov says
    “Yep we have a clear plan we’ll be using CCS to remove 1/3 of total emissions reductions by 2030”
    So Client Earth leaves them alone.

    • October 15, 2017 11:22 am

      Ha that tweet leads to an article on the Bellona website
      That’s the CCS corp

      11 Oct
      The next step for the Netherlands will be to work with its European counterparts in the UK and Norway to drive forward this ambitious programme and ensure that industrial CCS becomes a reality.

      They now have a new article Norway jeopardizes CO2 capture and storage while the Netherlands embraces it

      The proposal for the Norwegian state budget for 2018 was presented today. In the proposal, the budget for developing a full-scale CO2 capture and storage (CCS) value chain was cut to almost zero.
      – These cuts in CCS financing are incomprehensible.

      • Sheri permalink
        October 15, 2017 5:40 pm

        Correct statement: Any funds for CCS financing are incomprehensible.

        There, fixed the error.

  7. October 15, 2017 11:34 am

    I see CarbonPants mentioned the new Clean Growth Strategy cooperation with Norway Oct 12

    sets out plans to invest up to £100m in carbon capture usage
    …The strategy highlights the importance of “international collaboration” in the development of CCUS, (most notably with Norway, since the strategy also says it will look for storage opportunities elsewhere than the UK via international shipping).

  8. October 15, 2017 2:38 pm

    Let’s spend fortunes to speed up the next ice age. Brilliant!

    • October 15, 2017 2:55 pm

      It’s OK. The effect of CO2 on the climate is immeasurably small. It’s only plants and hence animals that will suffer from a reduction in CO2.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        October 15, 2017 10:26 pm

        Phillip Bratby:
        I have solved the CO2 removal problem. Tell the Ministers that a small amount of calcium hydroxide (added as milk of lime) in the particulate scrubber will react with the CO2 making coal fired plants “Green”.
        Don’t tell them how lime is made and judging from previous decisions they will never bother finding out.
        And the plants needed worry, plenty of CO2 would be still coming.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    October 15, 2017 5:03 pm

    “carbon capture in doubt”

    it never was a runner.

  10. Dr Francis Manns permalink
    October 16, 2017 2:08 am….pdf?dl=0

  11. mikewaite permalink
    October 16, 2017 4:13 pm

    The Telegraph allows us, for the moment at least, to view the comments on this article and nearly all of them are dismissive of CCS as an appalling, indeed “incomprehensible”, waste of money that the UK certainly does not have. Let Germany , wealthy beyond all dreams apparently, try out this mad scheme at its sole expense and then the rest of us can see if it works, technically and financially.

  12. October 16, 2017 6:20 pm

    I have always held the Norwegians in great admiration and was totally shocked that they would consider CCS, especially as it has so little relevance to their energy usage. They have treated wind power with the correct disdain: even though of all of Europe they are the best suited to wind generation with their hydro-resources. They are even selling off the ship based wind generators that they have persuaded the UK to subsidise: truly brilliant.

    My faith is now restored: if it was not for their winters I would live there!

  13. Henning Nielsen permalink
    October 19, 2017 2:33 pm

    We’ll see what happens. The present Norwegian government is a minority one, and depends on small supporting parties to get this through Parliament. At least one of these midgets is a true greenie party, and may well lobby very hard for the CCS project to get more funding. In a larger political picture, this can be seen as an acceptable trade-off in order to get general support for the right-wing government’s program.

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