RWE, the UK’s leading electricity generator, has announced plans to progress three new carbon capture projects as it leads the way towards helping decarbonise UK power.
The company is testing the feasibility of options to retrofit carbon capture technology at its existing combined cycle gas power stations at Pembroke and Staythorpe. It is also developing proposals for a new carbon-capture, gas-fired power station at Stallingborough, close to the Humber Estuary. The proposed development would be up to 800 megawatts enough to power one million homes.
As operators of the largest fleet of gas fired power stations in the UK and a leading renewables generator, RWE considers carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be a viable solution for delivering decarbonised, reliable, and dispatchable power generation, whilst supporting the UK’s target of decarbonising its power system by 2035. As well as being key to the UK’s long term energy security, the three proposed CCS projects will play a key part in helping RWE achieve its own global ambition to be carbon neutral by 2040 – targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Tom Glover, UK Country Chair for RWE, commented: “In order to decarbonise the power sector, support security of supply and enable large scale industrial decarbonisation, it is important that clean gas generation projects are developed. Carbon capture can support the expansion of the other renewable and low carbon technologies that RWE is a leader in deploying, by providing energy security through firm and flexible provision of electricity that is not reliant on weather. I am pleased to announce our plans for three UK carbon capture projects, representing an important step in our progression towards decarbonising our existing gas fleet.”
The development of these projects would form an important part of a robust and comprehensive energy network that ensures the UK has stable and secure generation whenever it is needed. If all three projects are progressed, they would collectively be capable of securing up to 4.7 gigawatts (GW) of flexible, decarbonised generation capacity – enough to produce electricity to power the equivalent of 8.1 million typical UK homes, while capturing 11 million tonnes of CO2 per year – equal to removing 2.2 million petrol cars from the road. The projects would also represent a significant investment into UK energy infrastructure, and would play a key role in helping decarbonise neighbouring industrial clusters.
All three projects are close to proposed CO2 networks or will have access to shipping facilities, which would enable the CO2 to be safely transported and stored by third parties. RWE has developed partnerships with industrial clusters South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) and Viking CCS in order to develop these transportation and storage options. Where possible, utilisation options for the captured CO2 will be targeted.
The projects are now preparing to apply to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Track 2 Phase 2 cluster sequencing funding application process, which is dedicated to carbon capture projects in close proximity to carbon capture storage or transport facilities. The application will ensure that RWE can demonstrate that carbon capture is a viable solution and an essential tool in the race to net zero.