11 Feb 2009 05:02:04
National Grid to build carbon emissions pipelines
The National Grid is planning to set up a network to pipe carbon dioxide emissions into underground storage beneath the North Sea.
A £2 billion carbon transport and storage network is being planned to support future power plants fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment, Chris Train, the director of network operations, told the Times.
The transmission firm claims that its experience delivering gas and electricity throughout the UK prepares it for sequestering carbon dioxide.
"National Grid would provide the gathering system to collect the carbon and store it offshore," Mr Train said. "Our expertise is very much in running safe and effective pipeline networks, so the transport and storage of carbon fits in very well with that."
CCS, is a technique for removing carbon dioxide from power plants emissions.
Some call it 'clean coal' technology, while critics claim that there is no such thing.
Environmentalists have also expressed concern that the underground salt caverns and decommissioned gas fields could leak carbon dioxide into the sea, acidifying it with potentially terrible consequences for marine life.
The EU is to provide support for the construction of 12 CCS demonstration plants, while E.On, Scottish Power and Peel Power vie for the contract to build one in the UK.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, the power generation sector accounts for 37 per cent of UK emissions and must be decarbonised to achieve climate change targets.http://tinyurl.com/dhepxf