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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

06 May 2009 12:05:08

North Sea capable of storing more CO2

North Sea capable of storing more CO2
The UK could be well-positioned to help reduce Europe's carbon footprint as, according to claims made in a new study, the North Sea is capable of storing all of the continent's carbon dioxide (CO2) output until the next century.

Research by ScottishPower identified a number of marine sites in the rock formations below the seabed that are suitable for carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The sites included saline aquifers - underground layers of porous, salt water-bearing rock - and depleted oil and gas fields.

Claiming that it could have a full-scale CCS demonstration project in operation at Longannet by 2014, the energy company said that the North Sea has the potential to store hundreds of years' worth of CO2 emissions.

Frank Mitchell, generation director at ScottishPower, said that CCS technology is close to moving out of laboratories and into practical applications.

"Our plans at Longannet involve retrofitting CCS technology to the existing power station by 2014," he said.

"A retrofit option is essential to enable the technology to be implemented globally, addressing the carbon lock in from over 50,000 fossil fuel power stations in operation throughout the world."

Last month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change outlined proposals for a full-scale retrofit of existing UK power plants with CCS technology within five years of it being independently proved to be a viable solution.



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