UK CCS Sector Could Create Over 225,000 Jobs by 2060
The UK carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry could create more than 225,000 jobs in the region by 2060, Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) Chief Executive Luke Warren told delegates at Oil & Gas UK’s London breakfast briefing.
Warren, who revealed the potential job generation figures came from a recent study on the value of carbon capture on the UK economy, suggested to Rigzone that these positions would be suitable for oil and gas workers who had lost their jobs as a result of the recent downturn.
“This will be a material industry in its own right,” Warren said in a presentation at the event.
As of February 10, 2017, published UK North Sea job losses stood at 124,000, according to Houston-based consulting firm Graves & Co. The organization estimated the total number of oil and gas job losses around the world at over 440,000.
Commenting on some of the CCS projects that could deliver a few of these new jobs, Warren highlighted five developments located across the UK, all of which he said were in relatively early phases. These include undertakings by Cadent, Caledonia Clean Energy, TeesideCollective, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative and H21 Leeds City Gate.
In order to build a scalable CCS industry in the UK, however, Warren warned that the sector needs to progress ‘quickly’.
“We really need to be moving quite quickly…We need to have our first projects operating by mid-2020s, that enables us to start to build up capacity into the 2030s so that we can really have an industry that’s scalable over the period to 2050,” Warren said.
“There really is no time for delay on CCS,” he added.
In November 2015, the UK government announced that it had scrapped the $1.3 billion (GBP 1 billion) capital budget for its planned CCS competition, which aimed to support the design, construction and operation of the UK’s first commercial-scale CCS projects.
As part of this competition, two preferred bidders had been announced; the White Rose Project in Yorkshire and the Peterhead Project in Aberdeenshire. The project developers for the latter, which was touted as the world’s first planned CCS project on a gas power station, were Shell and SSE.
Commenting on the government’s decision to pull the plug on the competition, Oil & Gas UK’s energy policy manager, Will Webster, admitted there had been some ‘false starts’ on the CCS front.
“The thing that hasn’t really seemed to work quite well, so far, is developing what I might call a ‘business model’,” Webster told oil and gas delegates at the breakfast briefing.
“Previous competitions were to some degree…[an] end CCS chain that the government was asking investors to develop and, to some extent, there wasn’t the appetite for it,” he added.
Webster also highlighted the government’s inability to completely shake off interest in CCS.
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