University of Sheffield well-placed to spearhead proposed CCS Catapult

The call for further investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in a new working paper by IPPR North as part of the Northern Energy Taskforce has been welcomed by the University of Sheffield.

The paper, titled ‘Making the most of our geological resources’, outlines the need for a new Catapult organisation in the North of England to launch the drive towards CCS, supporting heavy industry.

Many international scientific bodies, including the International Energy Agency and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, continue to highlight the essential role of CCS if the UK is to meet climate targets.

The University of Sheffield is a leading centre for research into the area of Carbon Capture and Storage and operates the UK’s main national pilot-scale facilities for clean use of fossil and biomass fuels with CCS. It also hosts the £6m UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) in partnership with five other core research organisations.

Other notable linked centres of expertise include the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with associated apprentice training, and the extensive Energy 2050 research institute, one of the largest university energy research programmes in the country.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Head of Energy Research at the University of Sheffield and Director of the PACT National Facility on CCS, said: “We look forward to the Government’s delayed CCS Strategy following the cancellation of the previous programme. We strongly support IPPR North’s call for a new CCS Catapult, to support our heavy industry in the switch to a low carbon future.”

Professor Jon Gibbins, Centre Director of UKCCSRC, said: “The North of England has a unique concentration of existing and potential new sources of employment-generating industrial CO2 emissions combined with accessible and secure offshore geological storage for captured CO2.

“The North also has both world-leading facilities to undertake the research to develop these new environmental technologies and to train the new workers who will design, build and operate them.”

The North of England has extensive potential for producing and using biomass. The ‘negative emissions’ that come from capturing and storing carbon dioxide from sustainable biomass and waste streams will become increasingly vital as the world moves towards delivering the Paris climate ambitions, including for offsetting emissions from vital services such as agriculture. Hydrogen is attracting attention for its potential to decarbonise heat, and CCS is one technology to deliver that hydrogen.

The Northern Energy Taskforce states the need to create a new Catapult centre in the North.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian said: “The facilities and organisations already established at the University of Sheffield make it an ideal core around which to form such an organisation and to deliver CCS clusters on Teeside, Humberside and in the North West that will ensure long-term, low carbon jobs for the 21st century.”