Carbon capture and storage technology remains a ‘utopian dream’ claims professor

Coal-fired power plant. The white stuff is water vapor, aka steam.

CARBON capture and storage (CCS) is too expensive and will “never be viable”, a former World Bank advisor claims.

Economics Professor Gordon Hughes, of Edinburgh University, says the anti-climate change measure is “little more than a utopian dream”.

The claims are made in a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank, set up by Tory peer and climate change sceptic Nigel Lawson.

The body challenges scientific data on the impact of pollution and has called on the UK Government to scrap targets to reduce harmful fossil fuel emissions.

The method seeks to collect carbon dioxide from electricity and power generation and industrial processes and place it in depleted oil and gas fields or specific undersea rock formations, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has called the process the “most important single new technology” for reducing the harmful emissions and, in its General Election manifesto, the SNP said Scotland could be a “leader” in the development of the technology.

Work commissioned by Scottish Enterprise suggested that, taken with enhanced oil recovery, it could be worth £3.5 billion to the economy.

However, launching the new research today, Hughes said: “We have spent countless millions trying to get carbon capture to work for coal-fired power stations. But in the future coal will mostly be used in the developing world, where CCS is going to be too expensive. Everyone else is moving to gas, for which CSS isn’t yet an option.”

He went on: “Successive governments haven’t thought their policies through. The focus on renewables is making CCS — already a marginal technology — even less viable.

“A coherent strategy could reduce carbon emissions at a fraction of the current cost by switching to gas with the option to install CCS if/when it makes economic sense.”

David Cameron’s government had planned to invest £1bn in developing CCS technology in the UK. A scheme in Peterhead was amongst the projects in the running for the grant, alongside the White Rose project in North Yorkshire.

Read more at The National

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    The entire modern day enviromental movoent is based upon a utopian dream cuased by their strict vegan diets watching AVATAR,A INCONVENT TRUTH,BEFORE THE FLOOD and THE 11th HOUR while snorting funny flour up their noses then going out to sit lotus style around the trees while meditating and going OOOOOOMMMM OOOOMMM OOOOMMMM

  • Avatar



    Capture CO2 and blow it into greenhouses full of kale, tomatoes and cucumbers. Health food from coal. Good luck getting a Green grant for that idea.

  • Avatar

    R. Johnson


    Carbon based infestation on carbon based planet are worried about Carbon “pollution” destroying their world.

  • Avatar



    And all this might be relevant if CO2 was actually a pollutant that trapped heat in our atmosphere.

  • Avatar

    David Lewis


    We can often get data via indirect ways. Consider this statement from the article.

    “The focus on renewables is making CCS — already a marginal technology”

    Renewable energy, if you don’t count hydro electric, is extremely expense. If pursuit of renewable energy makes CCS less attractive, then CCS must be extremely expensive. No wonder developing nations won’t be using it.

    Of course G was right, there is no need to do it.

Comments are closed