Prospect hails clean coal hope for jobs and skills

Prospect hails clean coal hope for jobs and skills

Prospect has welcomed the government’s commitment to invest in up to four carbon capture and storage demonstration projects.

Prospect head of research Sue Ferns said: “This is not only good news, but essential for the government to meet its carbon reduction commitments.

“As Ed Milliband conceded, nobody knows for sure whether CCS will deliver effectively on a commercial scale. Nonetheless many companies are interested in testing the technology and have begun preparatory work. But because of the risks, they will only take forward large projects with proper support from the government. Today’s statement provides a more certain policy framework for this to happen.

"We welcome the prospect of CCS bringing new skills and jobs to regions that desperately need them, as well as to the North Sea industry, for off-shore storage sites.

“But while endorsing the proposal that all new plants must include CCS demonstration, we are concerned about making existing plants retrofit CCS within five years. The government needs to provide proper support to companies to ensure that this does not result in the unintended consequence of plant closures and job losses.

“Whether we like it or not the UK needs coal-fired generation for its baseload supply, to overcome the intermittency problem which affects so many renewables. And whatever happens in the UK, countries like India and China will continue to build coal-fired plant. So we need to set an example by putting our own house in order.”