Carbon capture in doubt after Norway buries 90pc of budget

The Boundary Dam plant in Canada was the first in the world to incorporate CCS technology

The latest bid to develop technology which traps and stores carbon emissions is already in doubt after a key European partner scaled back its plans, days after UK ambitions were reignited.

Norwegian ministers slashed the expected state investment in a trailblazing industrial carbon capture project by 90pc in response to growing political doubts over its costs. The swingeing cut emerged the same day UK ministers pledged to work with international partners in a second bid to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry, after the failure of its £1bn scheme two years ago.

The Norwegian move spells trouble for Britains fresh plans because its ambitious linchpin project is considered a key template for the burgeoning industry, in which international collaboration is vital to bring down costs.

Norway has always been seen as a leader on CCS so it is concerning that there is a proposal to cut the budget, said Luke Warren, the chief executive of the UKs CCS Association. The timing is also unfortunate in a week which has seen both the Netherlands and UK governments set out ambitious new CCS programmes. 

The UKs clean growth strategy promised the £100m funding to ­develop CCS as part of a raft of 50 low-carbon policies and plans but government is clear that full-scale CCS will not go ahead unless costs come down. At stake are the carbon-cutting plans of industrial clusters in Teesside, Merse....

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