Study to scope subsurface CO2 storage laboratory


The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has commissioned a study in a bid to develop the case for investment in a purpose-designed national facility to investigate subsurface CO2 storage processes.

Making the announcement on 30 October, it was noted how the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has already declared carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a “necessity, not an option” when it comes to meeting net zero. However, for widespread industrial scale adoption of CCS in the UK, improvements in the understanding of storage processes are needed. The government’s own carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) action plan had also acknowledged “the importance of continuing to build the evidence base” with NERC commissioning the study in response to this.

It will see the British Geological Survey (BGS) undertake a scoping study for UK investment options in an underground CO2 storage research laboratory. It will assess the case for investment through wide engagement with stakeholders to fully understand requirements, a review of existing national and international capability, and will propose a science plan and design for a future facility.

Dr Iain Williams, Director of Strategic Partnerships at NERC, said: “Understanding the science behind the long-term viability of subsurface CO2 storage is a key challenge for achieving the UK’s climate change targets. This project will bring together the research community to understand what research and associated infrastructure is necessary to realise the potential for subsurface CO2 storage in the UK and accelerate its implementation.”

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