The Environment Agency has published guidance on carbon capture as part of its aim for a net zero future.
It comes in the wake of the Government setting out the ambition to capture 10Mt of carbon dioxide a year by 2030.
Working with the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), other UK regulators, and consulting with industry stakeholders, the Environment Agency has produced Best Available Technique (BAT) guidance for post-combustion carbon dioxide capture.
Operators wishing to capture carbon dioxide from their combustion process in England will need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency, and the guidance will help businesses which must demonstrate that they meet strict requirements that protect the environment and communities before being granted a permit.
The guidance can also be used by other organisations and members of the public who want to understand how the environmental regulations and standards are being applied.
Lee Rawlinson, Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency, said:
The Environment Agency has an important part to play in permitting many of the energy technologies that are likely to emerge over the coming years. This is part of our Climate Ambition to help create a net zero nation that is resilient to climate change.
As an environmental regulator, our role is to ensure that these new technologies, including carbon capture, are conducted in a way that protects people and the environment. Our Best Available Technique guidance will go a long way towards achieving that.
Prof Jon Gibbins, University of Sheffield and Director of UKCCSRC, said:
The BAT Review process has been a good opportunity to work closely with industry to assess public-domain information on practical post-combustion carbon dioxide capture experience.
The plan is to update the Review document as more information becomes available from the current wave of full-scale projects that are being planned in the UK and globally – hopefully soon.
Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), said:
The CCSA welcome the publishing of the first UK Best Available Techniques guidance for new build and retrofit post combustion capture amine plants for power and CHP. This review is an important early step that provides essential net zero CCS facilities with permitting guidance and support to allow them to transition through the permitting phase at the rate required to reach the UK Government’s cluster ambition.
The CCSA were pleased to coordinate input activities to the review through its BAT sub-group and diverse membership, and are pleased to see the regulator actively engaging in this activity. The CCSA also recognise that further work will need to be done to ensure the full breadth of CCS technologies are recognised by relevant BAT guidance, and we are disposed to provide continued support to this process.