Tyndall Centre report:  A Review of the Role of Fossil Fuel-Based Carbon Capture and Storage in the Energy System, January 2021

With significant reliance being placed on Carbon Capture and Storage technology in Scottish and UK Government climate plans, together with Global Witness we commissioned research from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. 

The research states that significant CCS cannot be expected in the energy sector until the 2030s at least. In the context of increasingly constrained carbon budgets, the Scottish and UK Government are placing reliance over the next decade on this technology that has a track record of over-promising and under-delivering. 

Key findings from the research include:

  • Global operational CCS capacity is currently 39MtCO2 per year, this is about 0.1% of annual global emissions from fossil fuels.
  • There is no operational CCS capacity in the UK yet the UK Committee on Climate Change project CCS capacity of up to 176MtCO2 by 2050. This would mean that the UK would require quadrupling the entire current global CCS capacity. 
  • There are just 26 operational CCS plants in the world, with 81% of carbon captured to date used to extract more oil via the process of Enhanced Oil Recovery [EOR], and at this stage CCS planned deployment remains dominated by EOR.

Instead of focusing on Fossil Fuel CCS, we need to prioritise readily deployable technologies of renewables, battery storage and energy efficiency that can reduce emissions now to limit warming to 1.5ºC.

You can read the full research or a summary briefing written by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Global Witness below.