Skip to content

EU Wastes £520m On Abortive CCS Project

November 6, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Patsy Lacey


Oh well, it’s only our money!



An investigation found that Brussels blew the colossal sum of cash on a drive to build underground storage facilities for CO2 emissions – but no such facilities were ever constructed.

This week the architect of the scheme, a former Lib Dem MEP, admitted this was because officials bungled their predictions for the environmental costs facing businesses.

The revelations, uncovered by the website EUobserver, will heap further pressure on EU chiefs who are already facing increased scrutiny over their spending due to Brexit.

Britain’s departure from the bloc is set to blow a £9 billion a year hole in its budget, with a number of member states actively calling for Brussels’ largesse to be be reined in.

Eurosceptics in the UK have long complained about the cost and red tape related to European environmental regulations which they accuse of stifling entrepreneurial enterprise.

However, many academics and officials have raised concerns about Britain lowering standards once it leaves the EU and the detrimental impact this could have on the public health and the environment.

The reports concern a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project the EU set up in 2007, which was designed to help companies reduce their emissions and so save money on Brussels’ green taxes.

Under the scheme businesses could buy pollution permits, or allowances, from eurocrats the proceeds of which would then be spent by the EU on capturing and storing carbon emissions.

However the fund, called NER300, did not support a single such project after officials catastrophically miscalculated carbon emissions pricing in Europe, which they expected to go up but which actually dropped drastically just after the programme was announced.

Reflecting on the scheme he helped create, former Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies told EUobserver: “The expectation was that the carbon price would rise from thirty euros up to a hundred euros.

“The incentive to not to have to pay a hundred euros a tonne for every tonne of CO2 emitted, was very strong indeed. The assumption was industry would do it, without us requiring any other means. Industry would take all these risks."

However, he said that when the carbon price crashed – it now stands at just seven euros – the scheme attracted virtually no participants and only ended up funding projects already in the renewable category.

  1. Robert Fairless permalink
    November 6, 2017 11:57 am

    They knew from the beginning CCS wouldn’t and couldn’t work; there was no shortage of evidence. Never the less they went ahead with the folly because it was useful propaganda to be seen pursuing their project with commitment and of course they had a bottomless pit of other peoples money. They do not have to account for money they spend or lose; the scandal is very temporary and no-one is ever held to account.
    Compared to what the EU has wasted elsewhere this is a trivial incident soon forgotten.

  2. Chilli permalink
    November 6, 2017 12:05 pm

    If the objective was to funnel taxpayers’ cash to friends and family while fooling taxpayers into believing they were ‘saving the planet’ – then it was a resounding success.

  3. Athelstan permalink
    November 6, 2017 12:43 pm

    “Oh well, it’s only our money!”

    It’s a Lament! and hard on us all, dear Lord and very well said Paul, as per usual.

  4. November 6, 2017 12:54 pm

    So how was the money spent, exactly? £520 million must surely have left a paper trail

  5. November 6, 2017 1:00 pm

    More generally this is an example of the poor outcomes that arise when special interest groups acquire political power. The Lib Dems maintain their core vote by doing this kind of thing, because such voters are loonies, and would vote “green” if the Lib Dems failed to act “green”. Currently “greens” are wielding undue power in Scotland (no fecking fracking), Germany (no new govt without a phase out of coal) and NZ (gawd knows what those poor people, already with a tiny carbon footprint, will have to endure).

  6. November 6, 2017 1:15 pm

    Clue here

    I’d like to add that as a one-time, very badly underpaid “expert” consultant to the EU’s grossly top-heavy, “Sustainable Energy for All” (SE4All) programme in Nigeria, nothing at all came of our Euro-tax payers’ under-written efforts to assist a fast-reforming Nigeria.

    The Euro-diplomats in Abuja were quite competent but the big, big, mess in Brussels allows no real forward movement.It is completely sclerotic!

    And is also complete waste of money!

  7. hugh farquharson permalink
    November 6, 2017 1:32 pm

    Talk of those Larcenous Dastards in Drussels.

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    November 6, 2017 1:45 pm

    As always, if it was such a good idea industry would be on it in a shot. Anything the government gets involved in will be a disaster.

  9. Dung permalink
    November 6, 2017 1:47 pm

    There can never have been a community as badly led as the UK in the history of the human race. We believe CO2 levels right now are just over 400ppm but we had our representatives at Paris advocating trying to reduce atmospheric levels to ZERO. They only needed to reduce the level to about 180 ppm in order to kill off all the plants animals and humans on the surface of the earth, they could not even get that right!

  10. November 6, 2017 1:53 pm

    Then we have the results from the highly touted Saskatechewan CCR project.

    “Following SaskPower saying it is unlikely to recommend government pursue more carbon capture and storage projects because of the high cost, critics are saying pursuing carbon capture and storage was uneconomical from the start.

    SaskPower ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend further carbon capture projects
    “It’s not economic, and it was clear at the time it wasn’t economic,” said former SaskWind president James Glennie.

    Glennie says SaskPower’s wholesale cost of power is about $60 per megawatt hour. The report pegs the cost of removing carbon dioxide through carbon capture at Boundary Dam Unit 3 at about the same price.

    “It cost $140 per megawatt hour,” to produce electricity with carbon capture and storage technology at a coal-fired plant, he said.

    “Basically, every single person in Saskatchewan paid $1,000 dollars for a project, which was known to be uneconomic, even when the decision was given to proceed,” said Glennie.

    In the fall of 2014, the $1.5-billion Boundary Dam power station near Estevan became the first power station in the world to install carbon capture and storage technology on a commercial scale. SaskPower argued using carbon capture and storage allowed the Crown corporation to reduce emissions while still using coal as a fuel source.”

    Note that Greens interpret this as reason to go all in on wind and solar, and use their typical faulty estimates of the cost of renewable intermittent energy.

    • November 6, 2017 2:11 pm

      Correction: CCS not CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival). Note also that clean coal is achieved by means of scrubbers at a fraction of the cost, as Ross McKitrick has pointed out repeatedly.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      November 6, 2017 4:08 pm

      Any organisation that’s looking at CCS with underground storage should have a big sign “Remember Lake Nyos!” in each engineer’s office (they DO have engineers, don’t they?). Personally, if anyone tried to store umpteen million cubic metres of compressed CO2 under my house, I’d be off like a shot!

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      November 6, 2017 4:50 pm

      Ron, I thought that in this project the CO2 was to be used (not stored), if so the case is a bit different from removing CO2 from a dilute gas composition then storing it for ever!
      Still a mad project compared with making it directly though.

      • November 6, 2017 5:46 pm

        That is correct Jack. My follow up post below shows they contracted for sale to Cenovus Energy (and paid millions for non-delivery).

  11. November 6, 2017 2:24 pm

    After we have left the EU Jeremy Corbyn will be able to sell them thousands of his money trees.

  12. November 6, 2017 2:36 pm

    Needless the Brits are still itching to pour money into the hopeless and bottomless CCS pit.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      November 6, 2017 3:03 pm

      Not “the Brits”, just the stupid Government and parties of all persausions.
      Ask tax payers if they want to spend it.

    • November 6, 2017 5:46 pm

      CCS works! … just look at the research being done on it at just one UK uni, handy bucket recommended when viewing this:

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 7, 2017 1:40 pm

        If it is such a good idea, funny how Shell dumped it as soon as the taxpayer cash flow stopped.

  13. A C Osborn permalink
    November 6, 2017 3:01 pm

    The Pollution Permits & Carbon Emmissions Pricing were pure and simple GREEN BLACKMAIL.
    Taking cash from the profits of industry to fund this absolute crap.
    ps Where the money went, as stated ” ended up funding projects already in the renewable category. “

  14. Nigel S permalink
    November 6, 2017 3:25 pm

    An interesting point in Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘Are Electric Cars Really Green?’. Lifetime CO2 emissions from Tesla S at 44 tons are only 5 tons less than an Audi A7 Quattro. 5 tons CO2 cost 35 euros to emit so the thousands of euros in subsidies to buy a Tesla are almost as poor value as this CCS farce.

  15. Ian Magness permalink
    November 6, 2017 4:27 pm

    When future generations write up the history of the AGW story and associated energy industry ramifications, I am still convinced that the Drax wood chips from across the Atlantic fiasco will stand out as quite the stupidest venture. Second, however, will rank CCS. The whole idea (not least it’s costs) is so staggeringly stupid that you couldn’t make it up, EVEN IF you swallow the AGW story, hook, line and sinker.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      November 6, 2017 4:55 pm

      They will certainly query how a load of top level scientists fell for a theory that traces of CO2 dominate the earth’s atmosphere using 19th century gas radiation theory. The radiative forcing function must be the worst science since phlogisiton!

      • Bitter&twisted permalink
        November 6, 2017 5:24 pm

        Three Simple reasons.
        1 Not top level scientists- what climate scientist is?
        2 Government appointed scientist-see above
        3 In it for the money scientist- a prostitute

  16. November 6, 2017 5:36 pm

    So EU spent £542 million and got no CCS installations. At the current exchange rate, SaskPower spent the same amount, and got one. Who is the worse off?

    From the Boundary Dam project worksheet:

    The total cost of the project is currently $1.5 billion. The original cost was $1.3 billion. Of that original cost estimate: $800 million was for the CCS process, with the remaining $500 million for retrofit costs. SaskPower feels they can cut capital costs 20-30% on the next unit.

    The Boundary Dam project received $240 million from the federal government. The provincial government also supported the project. Besides electricity, revenue will be generated from the sale of CO2, sulphuric acid, and fly ash.

    Due to decreased capture rate and failure to deliver promised CO2 to Cenovus Energy, Saskpower had to pay C$12million in 2014 in penalties. More penalties are expected for 2015. Saskpower is confident that revenue from captured CO2 will be greater than the penalties. (That was as of September 30, 2016)

  17. November 6, 2017 10:59 pm

    Ah it’s much better viewing these comments via the Reader at
    cos you can LIKE comments etc.

  18. November 7, 2017 11:42 am

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    As if we needed any more reasons to leave the EU.

    • dave permalink
      November 7, 2017 5:49 pm


      La Nina continues to develop:

  19. tom0mason permalink
    November 8, 2017 12:11 am

    CCS happens quite naturally with plants. This method is not dangerous and extremely beneficial to animal life.
    I wonder why governments do not do more to encourage it?

  20. dennisambler permalink
    November 8, 2017 10:40 am

    There are some highly competent people advising on CCS, Lord Stern and Lord Oxburgh no less:


  1. Brexit costs Money (Squared) – Orphans of Liberty

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: