Carbon Capture and Storage – A Roadmap for Scotland
Storage hubs are proposed to give multiple storage options within a geographical area to reduce costs and risks to CCS infrastructure. A pipeline network would be used to transport 20 million tonnes/year of CO2 from sources to distribution hubs offshore. Capital costs are £0.7 to £1.67 billion, depending on hub location. The preferred route is through an onshore pipeline from the Firth of Forth to St Fergus, then onwards to an offshore storage hub, while an offshore pipeline route from the Firth of Forth should also be considered.
A phased approach is appropriate to support the development of CCS technology. Direct Government funding will be required in the short term for R&D and pilot projects. In the medium term, CCS demonstration projects required under the UK Government and EU programmes, will need income support. In the long term, low-carbon generation projects are capable of being supported by the price of carbon alone. However, the volatility of the carbon market will place an additional financial risk on such projects.
The long term carbon abatement cost of CCS coal and CCS gas appear comparable with other available low-carbon power generation technologies and CCS has the potential to materially contribute to carbon abatement in Scotland.
The EU plans to have 12 CCS plants operating by 2015. In February 2009, the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change stated an aspiration for the UK to have more than one demonstration project in operation enabled by government funding.
Scotland has an extremely large CO2 storage resource. This is overwhelmingly in offshore saline aquifers (deeply buried porous sandstones filled with salt water) together with a few specific depleted hydrocarbon fields. The resource can easily accommodate the industrial CO2 emissions from Scotland for the next 200 years. There is likely to be sufficient storage to allow import of CO2 from NE England, this equating to over 25% of future UK large industry and power CO2 output. Preliminary indications are that Scotland's offshore CO2 storage capacity is very important on a European scale, comparable with that of offshore Norway, and greater than Netherlands, Denmark and Germany combined.
CO2 storage in oil fields may be feasible in conjunction with CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2 - EOR). If offshore pipelines reliably delivering CO2 could be developed through demonstration projects, then an increased number of oilfields could become economic for EOR providing other critical factors such as oil price, additional oil recovery and infrastructure suitability are also favourable. Additional benefits include delayed decommissioning costs and extended benefit to the economy through development of technology and expertise in offshore CO2- EOR. However, contrary to many expectations, the