The government has confirmed that the Acorn project in North East Scotland and the Viking project in the Humber have been chosen as the third and fourth carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) clusters.
The government stated: “In making this decision, we align with the Review of Net Zero chaired by Chris Skidmore, which included a recommendation that government should take a pragmatic approach to cluster selection by allowing the most advanced clusters to progress more quickly.”
The Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) has welcomed this development, emphasising the clusters’ potential to collectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 19 million tonnes.
Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive at CCSA, emphasised that billions of pounds of investment are ready to decarbonise industrial regions, awaiting firm plans for deployment.
Dr Nick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Acorn lead developer Storegga, highlighted Acorn’s potential to contribute to carbon reduction targets and foster economic growth and job creation.
SSE’s Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, believes that carbon capture will be instrumental in decarbonising the UK’s power system and driving economic growth, while also enhancing energy security.
Davies stresses the need for swift deployment of transport and storage infrastructure to support CCS rollout and enable low carbon projects like the carbon capture project at Peterhead.
However, environmental group Greenpeace UK voices concern over the new carbon capture projects, suggesting they may be based on continued fossil fuel usage and could potentially result in greenwashing of the sector.