More government funding for Carbon Capture and Storage?

Carbon capture and storage is a process designed to collect carbon dioxide gas released from power stations and store it in liquid form, reducing the impact of harmful carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. According to the BBC news website, carbon capture and storage (abbreviated to CCS) is ‘widely seen as an important part of a low-carbon electricity system.’  The CCS industry has come into the limelight over the last few days as the director of the Scottish electricity provider SSE claimed that this area of the energy sector calls for greater government investment. This follows their current collaboration with the oil company Shell in developing a new CCS plant in a power station in Northern Scotland, where liquefied carbon emissions will be stored in wells under the North Sea and will therefore be removed from the atmosphere.

The UK is not the only country to begin to put such systems in place as Germany, Norway, the US, the Netherlands and China, are already investing in similar schemes. However, the amount of money needed to provide long-term support for such an initiative is by no means insignificant, indeed even the recently announced £1bn government fund to aid CCS projects and was not considered sufficient, as stated in a report by SSE. At a time of financial crisis, the demand for such funds is sure to be felt keenly by the government as both state officials and the companies themselves are caught between the need to tackle the issue of sustainability in the energy sector and the ever increasing pressures of a struggling international market.

The Carbon Capture and Storage Association nevertheless continues to assert that effective CCS systems are useful not only in the energy industry but also in the cement, steel and chemical industries, which also produce large quantities of carbon dioxide emissions. Indeed, the Association argues that: ‘In some sectors, CCS represents the sole option for reducing CO2 emissions at the scale necessary’. The question therefore remains: how much should governments invest in new environmental initiatives such as these in a time of financial crisis and how can such schemes play a part in reducing the ever present ‘carbon footprint’ in our society?

News and information sources: The Guardian, BBC news website and the official website for the Carbon Capture and Storage Association.

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Here at TJC Global we offer a range of translation and interpreting services for environment- related work. Our translators and interpreters are familiar and experienced with the issues and terminology regarding several parts of this field, including carbon emissions, climate change, environmental technologies, sustainable development and also environmental law. For further information please visit our website, or contact us directly.

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