The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have today announced a multi million pound investment to establish a CCS Research Centre.
Bringing together over 100 of the UK’s world-class CCS academics, the Centre will provide a national focal point for CCS research and development.
The UK has a target to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a significant task that requires systemic changes to every sector of energy generation and use, including in industrial applications.
CCS involves capturing CO2 emitted from the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and industrial processes and transporting it to secure geological storage sites under the seabed.
CCS technologies are predicted by many to become a major element in the reduction of CO2 emissions which are linked to global warming, climate change and ocean acidification.
Newcastle University’s role in the project will be to find solutions to the problem of transporting the CO2 from source to the depleted off-shore oil and gas wells where it will be stored.
Dr Julia Race, an expert in pipeline engineering based in the University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, explains: "Newcastle is unique in that we are the only university in the country to offer a course in pipeline engineering.
“Our expertise in this area coupled with our work in shipping and renewable energies means Newcastle is ideally placed to play a key role in taking this technology forward into the future."
Professor David Delpy, CEO of EPSRC, said: "This centre will act as a catalyst for coordinating CCS research in the UK, improving cooperation between researchers and taking a whole systems approach. It will also be a route for industry and other stakeholders into research, and for knowledge exchange and the exploitation of intellectual property.
"I am delighted that we have been able to work together with DECC, which is providing capital facilities that will sit alongside the centre."
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: "This new Research Centre will support our efforts to reduce the costs of CCS and accelerate its deployment. It further underlines the UK’s world-class CCS research."
The RCUK Energy Programme has already established the Sustainable Power Generation (SUPERGEN) programme of world-leading research in areas such as wind and marine, photovoltaic, hydrogen and bioenergy.
The 10 founding institutions are: The Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Cranfield, Durham, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham and Imperial College London, the British Geological Survey and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. There will be scope for members from many other institutions to become involved with the centre during its operation.
published on: 3rd April 2012