Proposed UK Plant Would Capture 90 Percent of CO2 Emissions

A U.S.-led consortium has announced plans to build a new coal plant in Scotland that it says will be able to capture 90 percent of its carbon emissions. The so-called Caledonia Clean Energy Project, which would be built near Edinburgh, is perhaps the most ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) proposal so far in the UK, where earlier projects have struggled to get off the ground. The proposal — which would be developed by the Seattle-based Summit Power Group — received qualified endorsements from some UK environmental groups, but is expected to meet resistance since current plans would use some of the captured CO2 to increase oil production near the North Sea. Summit Power is already developing a similar $450 million project in Texas. In the UK, several carbon-capture projects have been dropped in recent years, and last year the government scrapped plans to invest £1 billion in a full-scale pilot project. While carbon-capture technology is in its early stages — and remains cost-prohibitive on a commercial scale — advocates say it could become a critical option in reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.