YORKSHIRE could become a world hub for the embryonic carbon capture and storage industry creating thousands of jobs for the region after the European Union gave millions of pounds to a pioneering project in the region, according to Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
The White Rose Project will see a new power station built on the Drax site, near Selby, which will be specially designed to capture harmful gases before they enter the atmosphere and transport them to the North Sea where they will be stored under the sea bed.
The EU will provide £200 million to support the scheme which promises to create 2,000 jobs and power 630,000 homes.
But it is expected to have a wider economic impact by helping to kickstart the broader CCS industry in the region.
Yorkshire is considered a prime location to exploit CCS technology because of its history of power generation, heavy industry and proximity to the North Sea.
Mr Davey told The Yorkshire Post: “Yorkshire could be a world hub for CCS technology. It wouldn’t just be applied to the power stations and the industry in Yorkshire but Yorkshire industry could export it to the rest of the world.
“This is a new technology and Yorkshire is at the head of the pack so whether you are thinking about the immediate future, the next few years or the next few decades this is a very promising investment for Yorkshire.”
its real significance is likely to lie in its role as the anchor project for a pipeline network taking greenhouse gases from heavy industry and power generators across the region for undersea storage.
A report published two years ago suggested the White Rose Project could be part of a wider “cluster” of carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes in Yorkshire together creating 4,000 skilled jobs.
Yorkshire MEP Linda McAvan, who played a key role setting up the EU fund which is backing the White Rose Project, said: “I am delighted to see that the EU is investing in the White Rose project.
“As well as the immediate jobs that the CCS project would create, the potential to export this technology, once developed, could also bring untold economic benefits to our region.”
“CCS technology is also essential if we hope to meet ambitious climate action targets and reduce the amount of carbon being released into our atmosphere.”
The region is seen as a prime location for CCS because of its history of power generation and heavy industry and proximity to the North Sea.
White Rose will be built on the site of the Drax power station which is a partner in the project along with Alstom and BOC.
Chief executive Leigh Hackett said: “We are well on track to demonstrate the key role that CCS can play in the future UK energy mix. CCS is an important technology providing clean, reliable and cost competitive electricity with the potential to contribute greatly to the decarbonisation of global power markets.”