There’s a problem here

A high-level Parliamentary inquiry has called for a massive national investment in carbon capture to revive depressed regions of the North and exploit Britain’s perfectly-placed network of offshore pipelines and depleted wells.

Lord Oxburgh’s cross-party report to the Government has concluded that the cheapest way to lower CO2 emissions from heavy industries and heating is to extract the carbon with filters and store it in the North Sea oil.

It’s not, at least not unless there’s been a major breakthrough just recently, economic to do this.

What is it that either AEP or I have misunderstood?

16 thoughts on “There’s a problem here”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Listening to Today apparent it is if compared to other “clean energy” technologies.

    I take this to mean gimme some of that lovely tax payers loot.

  2. Don’t we already have it. Its called the green belt, which they want to concrete over to house gimmegrants. Joined up thinking there

  3. Always remember that Lord Oxburgh was the “independent” chair of one of the faux enquiries to give the climate scientists at UEA a clean bill of health.

  4. and store it in the North Sea oil

    Wut? I assume he means store it in the depleted reservoirs. Storing it in the oil – meaning, producing fields – would mean the production facilities now have to deal with the additional CO2 in the oil.

    Britain’s perfectly-placed network of offshore pipelines and depleted wells

    Okay, perfectly placed. But perfectly maintained? Who’s going to pay for the inspection, pigging, replacement subsea pipework, etc.? The subsea connection to the well won’t come cheap.

  5. Not seen the telegraph article and can’t read it from here, but the BBC reports:
    “In a report to Business Secretary Greg Clark, the group claims CCS is now ready to be deployed at £85/MWh over a 15-year period”

    £85 per MWh is the same as 8.5p per kWh. I’ve not checked my bill recently, but I thought electricity was only around 15p per kWh, so even if this comes in at the cost they’re saying (which is unlikely – look what happens when the government does anything) then it will increase electricity prices by more than 50%, unless there’s something I’m missing here.

  6. the perfectly placed pipelines are also designed the wrong way round – they’re designed to have high inlet pressures offshore and lower pressures as they approach the terminals, so the coastal end of the line has thinner walls that can’t necessarily deal with the inlet pumping pressure to reverse flow. They’re also not manufactured in a way that can cope with the slightly acidic environment of CO2/carbonic acid so would corrode more quickly

  7. From what I heard on the radio they were saying it would only be economic if the government owned and built the system. In other words, it’s not economic.

  8. There are two points in the report that seem to be relevant:

    1) they are comparing the cost vs. other ‘carbon free’ technologies i.e. it is cheaper than Hinckley Point nuclear plant would be.

    2) they are assuming that the cost would almost halve over time due to technological advance. Although I’m not sure whether this is before or after the cost estimate already mentioned, and if it includes government spending on the infrastructure or not.

  9. Maybe they mean to plough it under and cover it with newly planted trees?

    A bit rough on the North but I can see the logic.

  10. Wow! This literally is pointless displacement activity. I can’t be bothered to read the article, but are they sucking the CO2 from the air, or capturing it as it comes out of power plants.

    Whatever the disruption in digging all the pipes required will be many orders of magnitude greater than any fracking operation.

    Those whom the Gods seek to destroy; first they make believe in Climate Change.

  11. If it’s actually carbon he’s talking about, then I suppose you could capture it in “filters” if you wanted to, but it wouldn’t get you anywhere because carbon doesn’t actually add to CO2 emissions, being a different thing from CO2, doncha know.

    otoh if it’s actually CO2 he’s talking about, then “filters” is not what you need at all. On account of it being a gas ‘n all.

    Man’s an ass. But then there’s not one of them with the slightest knowledge of actual science, is there, so I suppose we should not be surprised.

  12. ‘a massive national investment in carbon capture to revive depressed regions of the North’

    What is the ROI on burying stuff in the sea?

    Okay, so it’s not INVESTMENT at all. It’s stupid spending, on par with digging holes and filling them up.

    I’m thinking the North’s depression is mental, as they have leaders who think, “I have been surprised myself at the absolutely central role that CCS has to play across the UK economy,”

    UK – Land of Carbon Buriers

    The decay is complete.

  13. It didn’t make any sense at all to me – the idea of having a return on investment in something that doesn’t generate usable output?

    The fact that the lead author is Lord Oxburgh who has form in telling lies under oath suggests that it is snake-oil being peddled…again. Funny how climate change throws up these shysters. #justsayin’

  14. Andrew Duffin,

    The CO2 filters on the ISS use zeolite to remove CO2 from the air. This is a stopgap solution until we can grow enough plants in space to do the job. Currently excess CO2 is vented into space because of the high cost of storage and the risk of a leak. Much of NASA’s research is based on finding biological solutions to their CO2 problems.


    The idea is to find the cheapest method to deal with spillover costs. The usable output is the a reduction in costs that aren’t paid by the customer or the supplier.

    It would seem that using the French model for building nuclear power would be a much better use of the money. This may be dated but it appears French power is cheap and cleaner[1] already. Going with the 50% increase in electricity bills given by RA this obviously a much better solution.


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