The UK Government’s CCUS risks locking consumers into a high-cost, fossil-based future, despite cleaner and cheaper alternatives being available.

In this report, we analyse the UK’s ambition for Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and recommend for the Government to refocus its strategy towards futureproof and high-value applications such as cement and hydrogen.

An analysis of CCUS projects worldwide carried out by the report’s author suggests that CCUS has got a history of over-promising and under-delivering. The technology has shown little evidence of cost improvements and scalability and applications in some key sectors are still untested and very costly.

However, regardless of falling expectations , CCUS is a still key tool in almost all the energy transition scenarios and will be essential to achieving the goal of net-zero emissions.

The UK’s Government outlined an ambitious CCUS strategy, aiming to capture 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2030, backed by £20 billion in taxpayer funding.

Lorenzo Sani, Carbon Tracker’s  Power and Utilities analyst, explores the risks and the opportunities related to the UK’s CCUS strategy, covering:

  • A review of the global history of CCUS.
  • Why CCUS is needed and in which sectors.
  • A breakdown of the UK’s CCUS targets.
  • An assessment of the delivery risk, stranded asset risk and cost premium of CCUS in five key applications: cement, iron, hydrogen, BECCS and gas-CCS.
  • The role of the UK’s carbon markets.
  • The need for new targets.

Map of UK’s industrial clusters and location of CCUS clusters

You can find a downloadable Excel file with the charts used in the report on the side bar.

If you have follow-up questions, please contact the author, Lorenzo Sani at lsani@carbontracker.org