The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has started the search for organisations to take part in a multi million pound project to develop and demonstrate cheaper carbon capture technologies specifically for gas fired power stations.

The ETI’s strategic modelling has highlighted CCS as a crucial part of the UK’s energy mix alongside nuclear power, offshore wind, bio energy and marine energy if legally binding cuts in greenhouse gases of 80% by 2050 are to be met and security of supplies maintained.

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The ETI expects to invest in the initial development of two promising ‘next generation’ technologies before selecting the best one for large scale testing at a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant.

A Request for Proposals giving full details of the project and what the ETI expects from potential bidders can be found at http://www.energytechnologies.co.uk/Home/TechnologyProgrammes/Requests_for_Proposals_copy1.aspx

The deadline for the notification of intention to submit a proposal is 27 May and all proposals must be received by 27 June.

Bidders will need to demonstrate and justify how their approach would enable their technology to reach a state of development that would allow future investors to start engineering the design of a power station using this next generation technology in 2015, with operation commencing in 2020.

As retrofitting of existing power stations is desirable the RfP will target post-combustion technologies with low capital costs.

ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke said: “Gas remains the UK’s primary energy source and our estimates suggest we will have around 30GW of CCGT capacity by 2030. Even though gas is much cleaner than coal, achieving the UK’s CO2 reduction targets in the longer term will still require CCS to be fitted to all fossil-fuelled power stations by the 2030s.

“The contribution of gas fired stations to the energy mix in the UK has grown and appears set to continue to grow rapidly over the next decade. Although work is now being done on CCS technology demonstrations the UK effort has been largely focussed on coal so far.

“Through CCS technology, fossil fuels can be economically used in an environmentally acceptable way to provide significant quantities of competitively priced energy on demand and so will be an important contribution to the energy mix in the future.”

The costs of CCS are heavily influenced by costs of carbon capture and the roll out of CCS in the 2020s and 2030s will require new capture systems which significantly cut the capital and operating cost penalties associated with current technologies.

The ETI has completed an extensive analysis of likely future UK requirements for CCS new build and retrofit power generation and has examined the economic potential of the most promising ‘next generation’ technologies.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a technology with the potential to make a substantial reduction in capital and operating costs in the capture plant, which will be ready to catch the wave of CCS implementation in CCGTs expected to occur in the 2020s and early 2030s.

From its review of the technology landscape, the ETI believes that potential technologies will require an intermediate scale of development before being ready for full scale implementation.

The ETI has already commissioned a project looking at the next generation of CCS for coal fired power stations which is expected to start in the autumn.

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