Supplementary evidence to Scottish Parliamentary Committee on Economy, Jobs and Fair Work: CCS and heat
Haszeldine, R Stuart
We welcome and support the continued climate change mitigation action ambition of the Scottish Government presented in the Draft Climate Change Plan (hereafter referred to as the “Plan”), and look forwards to further strengthening of ambition in the forthcoming new Climate Change Bill. The new approach built around the TIMES model is instructive and essential in identifying connections between the key sectors and critical technologies, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which enable system-wide least cost decarbonisation. However, the Plan lacks detail in the assumptions and sensitivities of the TIMES output, and how these might influence the results. Here, the Plan places primary responsibility for the delivery of CCS to the UK, with the Scottish Government's delivery route to “seek to influence the UK Government's CCS strategy”. We suggest that it is perhaps risky for the Scottish Government to again rely on UK CCS delivery in the Plan, especially as publication of the BEIS UK Emissions Reduction Plan and CCS strategy remain delayed, and CCS does not feature in the recently published BEIS industrial strategy. Opportunities for Scotland-led CCS developments are outlined in subsequent sections. Experience to date shows that CCS electricity generation has struggled to progress into reality in UK and European power markets. As explained above, this constitutes a substantial CCS delivery risk. In contrast, we suggest that there is perhaps relatively ignored Scottish potential for CCS in industry and in low- carbon heat in the Plan period, which the Scottish Government should consider (see sections below). If the UK and Scotland exit the EU-ETS there is perhaps scope for faster decarbonisation, but this will require UK and or Scottish national policy mechanisms and facilitating funds. For heat, conversion of natural gas networks to hydrogen appears to be a feasible option and relatively un-intrusive at household level. Production of hydrogen in sufficient quantity would most likely be cost-effectively realised via steam methane reforming (SMR) of natural gas combined with CCS. A high-level assessment of heat transition to hydrogen is presented below.