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Longannet scrapped

The flagship carbon capture and storage project at Longannet - just up the road from me - has been scrapped.

A decision has been made not to proceed with Longannet but to pursue other projects with the one billion pounds funding made available by the government," the Department of Energy and Climate Change said today.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne insisted the idea can still work elsewhere, and promised that the £1bn would be available for other projects.

I can't help but recall the speech by the oil industry bigwig at the Oil Club dinner last year, when CCS essentially formed the core of the industry's vision for the future. For the whole idea to be jettisoned so soon seems, well, odd.

How much of industry's green credentials are just a matter of keeping public and politicians out of their hair? Quite a lot, I would guess.

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After reading in Delingpole's blog about the Great Blackpool Earthquake of 2011 brought about by the heretical observing of the Trillions of Cubic Foot (Feet?) of energy producing methane that threatens the very existence of sinecured, renewable tax-funded income streams, I breathed a huge sigh of relief! when I heard about the cancellation of the Longannet CCS project.
The thought of all that Carbon pollution being pumped at high pressure into the vacuum-filled voids of former oil-wells, that have already suffered from the rapacious activities of man, almost made me sic (sic)
If frakking is so evil that even the head honchos of our energy industries and political masters can't even bring themselves to mention it then how much worse is anti-frakking aka CCS?
It's bad enough that the efficiency of Longannet, and thus generation costs, would have been reduced by this new technology but the increased seismic activity of the area may well have put the entire tram system of Edinburgh at risk!
I won't even go into the possibility that catastrophic leakage of Carbon Die-oxhide may have a deleterious effect on indigenous and migrant avian and bat populations.
The extra £1 billion released by the cancellation of this silly project is now available to be used for the gainful erection of more wind-turbines.
Thank goodness that the UK government has seen sense at last!

Oct 20, 2011 at 2:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

As I understand it, CCS is required as a point of law for "non renewable' power producing investments. So, the "big wig" that you referred to would of course to have to support making CCS a viable proposition if they had any expectation of future sales of their assets (gas).

Oct 20, 2011 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

For every watermelon - green on the outside and red on the inside - there must be 100 "green bottles". These people are green on the outside and no colour at all on the inside.

They know how to mumble along for a quiet life and because it's always good to pretend to care about things. I would put most of my work colleagues in this group.

Richard Branson is a green bottle. He talks the talk and then launches a space tourism venture.

Oct 20, 2011 at 3:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Radical idea: If they release the CO2 into the atmosphere it can maybe provide a little warming which we so badly need, and the plant kingdom will certainly enjoy the refreshing breath of life, enjoyment shared with the animal kingdom as is its wont. Sadly, our little bit of aliquot of this magical gas will soon be re-sequestered through the action of the sun and the biosphere.

Make hay while the sun shines. Frolic in the fizz; it'll soon go flat.

Oct 20, 2011 at 3:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

My view? Like all big projects like this, with a nod and a wink, everyone knew it was going to cost more than 1 billion. And once it got going then they would have no option but to spend 2, 3, 4 billion. It was ever thus.

So at one point a quiet word was said to industry, "Support the 1 billion, and once we get started we will be forced to feed it more."

However based on Osbourne's conference comments, it was made clear "1 billion is all you are getting."

Suddenly the industry is not so keen to get involved. Probably because they know it is not feasible and it going to cost a fortune.

Oct 20, 2011 at 4:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The CCS programme was always predicted on the need for offshore sales of the technology. But that was conditional on the Kyoto Protocol being universally agreed.

We now know that the IPCC and much of climate science has been taken over by WWF activists and you can't believe a single word. According to the book by Laframboise:

28 out of 44 chapters (two-thirds) included at least one individual affiliated with the WWF
100% of the WG2 chapters included at least 1 WWF affiliated scientist
15 out of 44 chapters (one-third) were led (coordinating lead authors) by WWF-affiliated scientists

And what's the interest of the WWF? Reportedly with other groups $60 billion carbon offsets, a form of neo-colonialism with native peoples being driven from their land like the 20,000 in Uganda, some of whom have been killed.

The WWF also controls [controlled] our Met. Office hence because no climate model can predict climate [due to 4 major scientific errors], it couldn't even forecast the weather more than a few days in advance.

This disgraceful political destruction of science for greedy commercialism under the guise of bleeding heart activism has to stop. This is a carve up of Western and Third World society by our elite under the cover of Marxism and environmentalism.

Oct 20, 2011 at 7:05 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

My reaction to hearing this was a loud guffaw. Even given £1billion, engineers knew it was a dead duck.

Oct 20, 2011 at 7:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

@Oct 20, 2011 at 2:47 AM | Rob Schneider

So far as I am aware, Rob, the compulsory CCS is only for coal (at the moment). Don't forget that they need to build a large number of CCGT and OCGT powerstations specifically to balance BigWind.

I have seen no evidence whatever that CCS actually can be made to work on a meaningful scale. And, as it is such a blatantly cockamamie idea anyway, one can only assume that it is a deliberate spoiler to ensure that no more coal fired power stations get built and that it is impossible to get investment in coal other than in the very most short term projects, such as re-washing old spoil heaps. Thus far, this at least has worked as designed. Plans to upgrade or rebuild coal power stations have all been scrapped in the UK (Our German chums are still busily building theirs, of course.)

Interestingly, the head honchos in what remains of the UK coal industry seem still to believe that CCS is a lifeline for survival, which at least says something about the said head honchos' grip on reality.

So far as oil & gas is concerned, I think the calculation is that when the population of the UK are shivering in the dark, they will be given a blank cheque to come back in and get the lights back on. I think they will be proved right.

Meanwhile, there is some other interesting news here:-
Unaccountably, this snipped has passed the Beeb by. No mention at all, so far as I have heard.

Oct 20, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Oct 20, 2011 at 3:19 AM | Jack Hughes

"Richard Branson is a green bottle. He talks the talk and then launches a space tourism venture."

Another candidate? Scameron?

Oct 20, 2011 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneMustGo

Utter lunacy – you could not make it up!

It is high time to send a clear message to the UK government – scrap the Climate Change Act that mandates all of this nonsense:

(the epetitions on Hillsborough and an EU referendum have worked, at least as far as forcing a proper debate in Parliament)

Oct 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff



Oct 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

With a billion quid, you could build new coal fired generating plant, efficiency and reliability - what's not to like?

Oct 20, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

can't help but recall the speech by the oil industry bigwig at the Oil Club dinner last year, when CCS essentially formed the core of the industry's vision for the future. For the whole idea to be jettisoned so soon seems, well, odd.

The reason the oil industry likes CO2 is that it can be used to inject into oil fields when they have exhausted other methods of forcing the oil out, such as water flooding. The Weyburn oilfield in southern Saskatchewan buys the CO2, which is a by product of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota, and the stuff is transported to Canada via a 330km purpose-built pipeline. They inject 1,000,000 tonnes per year and they hope to to extract at least an extra 130 million barrels of oil over 20 years or so. This is called Enhanced Oil Recover (EOR).

A coal-fired proper power station puts out about 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per day per 1 GW output, therefore, Longannet (2.4 GW when new), would put out 48,000 tonnes per day or, 1,000,000 tonnes in about 21 days.

So, just to store the output of Longannet, one would need about 17 oil fields the size of Weyburn in EOR mode. Weyburn is in the middle of a prairie, not at the bottom of the North Sea.

Unfortunately for the oil fields around the UK, CCS is coming far too late because platforms serving the oil fields that become depleted following implementation of existing methods of oil recovery are being dismantled. The oil companies wanted the CO2 from the CCS process to be available from 2006 onwards before the existing platforms became redundant and had to be dismantled.

However, it must be remembered that CCS is not intended to be a method to facilitate the construction of new coal-fired proper power stations, (i.e. of course you can build a coal-fired power station, BUT, it must have CCS apparatus on-site, you have to have a North Sea aquifer identified for the purpose of storage and you must have a pipeline route established), no, the real purpose is to prevent the construction of coal-fired power stations, but the MPs do not have the balls to actually make such power plants illegal.

Now that the oil industry has realised that CCS is going to take a long time to materialise (they still live in hopes, but for a different reason now), at a lecture in London in February this year, it was revealed that the oil companies have now embraced the wholly altruistic process of taking CO2 from "someone who captures it for them in the first place" and storing it in depleted oil fields i.e. to be wholly dedicated "to saving the planet".

Note that in the UK, that "someone" (44m 40s) will be paid from the price of a kWh on domestic and industry electricity bills, and then the oil companies would safely store it under the sea.

In response to a question about oil companies footing the bill for CCS he claimed that the oil companies are only responsible for 12% of the "pollutant" CO2 - the users of the products are responsible for the rest (1h 07m 30s).

These people are now so confident in their invincibility from being jailed for crimes against the poor and middle class, that they do not care if people see through their self-serving statements.

When is somebody going to ask how much money has been wasted on the Longannet experiment?

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Do not read this post if you have a cup of coffee in your hand.

From the BBC (sorry) report.

"If there was a completely unlimited resource then we may have been able to surmount the technical problems at Longannet," Mr Huhne said.

via WUWT

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterView from the Solent

Oct 20, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Martin Brumby

Willington 2 GW CCGT (plus 400MW OCGT, for intermittency) was given consent earlier this year and the operator has to make provision in the design for retro-fitting CCS apparatus.

The interesting bit starts at 6.5.1 here:

Oct 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

CCS never made any sense. It is likely to still let about 30% of the CO2 go. However it is also likely to iuse/waster about 30% of the energy ised. So to keep the same electricity production coal use would go up by about 40% and released CO2 would still be about 45%.

Moreover total CO2 would increase 40% - the storage claim depends on people who claim it is impossible to store a a few cubic metres of solid (& heavy) reactor waste underground until it loses radioactivity (decades to a century) without it escaping upwards can guarantee that hundreds of milions of tons of CO2 gas will stay down there forever.

As Scotlsnd's Chief Science Advisor, Prof Anne Glaser explained "my eyes went wide in amazement" at seeing what a wonderful job they are allegedly doing.

The mere fact that it is lies and rificulous obvious fraud hasn't stopped the "environmentalists" on anything else.

Oct 20, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Oh, I can see it now - bubbles of CO2 coming up through the sea bed...
Do these doughnuts REALLY think you can pump CO2 at high pressure into old oil and gas workings, without it all coming out somewhere..?
But then, I suppose, they will argue: 'Look - CCS is working..! Isn't it wonderful..??'
My suggestion has been aired in the past - have tomato and other polytunnel farms around the power station - then pump the CO2 straight into the poltytunels instead of the farmers having to BUY it to boost yields...

Oct 20, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The oil industry bigwigs are complicit in this nonsense because they see their depleted holes in the ground and infrastructure as potential CCS assets. Add to that the possible enhanced oil yield and there is no down side for the oil industry.

I have heard it suggested that we might choose not to burn the extra oil recovered from CO2 injection to make sure there is no net increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, which is obviously an unrealistic sop to the enviro lobby. If it makes them more money they will acquiesce to the wishes of Huhne and like minded politicians.

Oct 20, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddieO

@Roger Longstaff:

716 signatures in 9 weeks . . . how do you account for that miniscule level of support?

Oct 20, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterScots Renewables

@Scots Renewables - perhaps it's down to cynicism, generated by a Parliamentary party system which has deigned to provide a debate on a referendum on our future in the EU (as requested by over 100,000 epetition signatories) but which has already stated which way it wants its members to vote.

Oct 20, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

@ woodentop

So you haven't signed it yourself then?

Oct 20, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterScots Renewables

@ Scots Renewables

A good question - I think that only BH and WUWT readers have seen it. Richard Drake tried one too, but that also failed to gain traction, despite his best efforts.

The Liverpool Echo (I think) backed the Hillsborough one. I have tried the MSM, but nobody will bite.

Oct 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

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Dec 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered Commenteroffshore jobs

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