All CCS Clusters Needed For UK To Reach Net-Zero By 2050, OGUK Says
Industry representative body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) claims that the country will need all of the proposed cluster projects – and more – if it wants to hit the net-zero emissions target by 2050.
The statement by OGUK comes after Energy Minister Greg Hands announced the Hynet and East Coast CCS projects have been selected as the Track 1 clusters. The Acorn CCS was announced as a reserve project for Track 1.
There are several other carbon capture cluster projects currently in development and scheduled to be put forward for Track 2 of the Government’s plan, including Acorn, V Net Zero, Delphynus, as well as one based in the Southampton area.
In total, they could help the UK capture up to 100 million tons of carbon per year to decarbonize sectors, including heavy freight and marine transport, as well as steel, chemical, and cement manufacturing. OGUK mentioned that the Climate Change Committee has stated that technologies such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen were critical in helping the UK get to net zero.
OGUK added that its Energy Transition Outlook report will be released later this week. It will outline the UK’s full potential for carbon capture and other crucial greener technologies like hydrogen, as well as progress in reducing its emissions in the production of cleaner oil and gas the UK will still need as it transitions to a low carbon energy mix.
“This is a landmark moment for the UK in showing the world how they can achieve net-zero emissions and the selection of Hynet and the East Coast Cluster is positive progress. However, we are going to need all of these carbon capture and hydrogen projects and more if the country is to become carbon neutral by 2050,” OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said.
“Of all the carbon capture clusters in development, every single one of them involves an oil and gas company. With 50 years of expertise producing energy, the UK’s changing oil and gas industry is using its skills to help the country hit net zero. We look forward to seeing both Track 1 and Track 2 clusters make progress urgently, turbocharging progress towards our climate goals while providing jobs and opportunities to energy communities across the UK,” he added.
In a separate statement, OGUK said that the emissions from the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry fell by the equivalent of 1.8 million tons of CO2 in 2020, a 10 percent reduction, according to a report from the leading industry body.
In its 2021 Energy Transition Outlook, OGUK estimates that emissions from the production, transport, and processing of oil and gas in the UK fell to the equivalent of 17.1 million tons of CO2 in 2020. This compares with the 2018 figure of 18.9 million tons – five percent of the UK’s national emissions.
Nearly half the reductions in 2020 were due to industrial action, including efficiency improvements and reduced flaring and venting. The remaining reductions were due to a decrease in activity because of the pandemic.
“This gradual uncoupling of emission generation from oil and gas production means the UK continental shelf is emitting fewer greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil and gas,” OGUK said.
The reductions are in line with the sector’s ambitious commitments under the North Sea Transition Deal, in which the industry committed to reduce emissions 10 percent by 2025, 25 percent by 2027, and 50 percent by 2030.
“This is just the beginning of our journey, with our industry committed to cutting emissions by half within this decade, 90 percent by 2040, and becoming completely carbon neutral by 2050. We expect to see faster reductions post-2023 as industry initiatives have an increasing impact, supported by broader climate initiatives. Our challenge now is to ensure the energy sector receives enough investment to significantly scale up the solutions this country will need to make production sustainable and to decarbonize the whole UK economy,” Tholen concluded.
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