Hopes high for region to attract EU funding

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YORKSHIRE’S prospects of winning hundreds of millions of pounds in funding for pioneering carbon capture projects have been boosted after Government and EU representatives hinted they are looking favourably at the region’s ambitious plans.

Twelve proposed CCS power stations across Europe are bidding for hundreds of millions of pounds from Brussels, half of them from the UK – including three in the Yorkshire region.

A shortlist will be announced early next year.

But speaking at yesterday’s CCS conference in Leeds, North-West MEP Chris Davies – who is heavily involved in carbon capture matters at the EU Parliament – said he believed European officials have been impressed by the way Britain is attempting to push forward the carbon capture agenda.

“Every indication I get from the (EU) Commission is that they like what the UK has put forward,” he said. “They want us to go ahead.

“They want to see I think at least two, possibly three projects in this country.

“That’s the message I get from officials’ body language, shall we say.”

The British Government meanwhile, is due to announce details of its own funding competition for CCS projects, with £1bn of capital funds set aside to support up to four schemes.

CO2Sense, the local low-carbon consultancy, has previously said it hopes at least two of the four will be based in Yorkshire.

Adam Dawson, chief executive of the office for carbon capture at the Department for Energy and Climate Change, told the conference he could not show any favour towards any particular project at this stage. But he did highlight a map which used dots to show the large cluster of heavy polluters in the Yorkshire region, and the high number of potential sites to store CO2 nearby.

“I can’t be an advocate for any one location,” he said. “Looking at the chart and the dots, and the size of the dots and where they are, some of them speak for themselves. You can draw your own conclusions from that.”