UK Carbon Capture and Storage Community Network (UKCCSC)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

The potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to make a significant contribution to mitigating the risk of dangerous climate change has been recognised by a number of international bodies including the G8, International Energy Agency and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A range of commercial-scale demonstration projects are being proposed with the aim of CCS being available for widespread deployment from around 2020. A significant effort is required to train scientists and engineers (and others) to be able to design, construct and successfully operate these and future projects. It is also crucial to use lessons from these projects to inform CCS R&D, as well as drawing on insights from other fields that could be crucial for rapid development of CCS. Recognising these needs, the Research Councils have made a significant investment in UK CCS R&D capacity including through the E.On/EPSRC partnership and a programme of collaborative work with China.The UK Carbon Capture and Storage Community network (UKCCSC) has been established to support the UK academic community during a period (2009-2013) when significant changes in the CCS landscape are expected. The impacts of the Network will include better co-ordination within the UK CCS R&D community and more effective communication of accurate and impartial information, including key research results, to a wide range of stakeholders in a timely manner. The UKCCSC network will be the main mechanism to enable inter-communication between Research Council-funded projects on CCS. It will also contribute to maximising the efficiency of UK intellectual leverage, including within the international community. UKCCSC is deliberately not sponsored by any commercial entity so that it is able to maintain independence.UKCCSC aims to provide a 'one stop shop' for access to the UK CCS academic community. It intends to encourage collaborations that can support high quality work that will advance fundamental understanding of CCS technology, and the non-technical impacts of its use, and contribute to building world class capacity in this area. Any UK-based researcher is eligible to participate in UKCCSC core activities. These include two face-to-face meetings each year for academic researchers to share ongoing work, as well as updating key stakeholders. Between meetings, the UKCCSC website will provide relevant resources. A regular newsletter will also be circulated to UKCCSC members and registered stakeholders.Additional UKCCSC activities will support the development of a dynamic and stimulating environment for research and innovation on CCS in the UK. These include a programme of activities for early career researchers and specialist workshops or seminars organised in response to proposals from UKCCSC members. Support for exchange visits and other activities to develop strategic alliances within the UK or with international collaborators will also be available to UKCCSC members. In addition, it is expected that UKCCSC will help its membership to contribute to shaping future priorities for funding of CCS R&D in the UK.The UKCCSC secretariat will be responsible for running the network on a day-to-day basis. The full-time network manager supports and promotes academic CCS activities in the UK including by organising events. They are supported by a part-time early careers co-ordinator, webmaster and secretary. The secretariat is jointly hosted by Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh and managed by Dr Jon Gibbins and Prof Stuart Haszeldine. A project advisory committee will be established to guide the development of UKCCSC as it responds to the rapidly evolving challenges and requirements for CCS R&D. An international reference user group, formed of invited members from representative organisations in other countries, will ensure that strong links are maintained between UK researchers and the international CCS community.

Planned Impact

The immediate beneficiaries of this project are the researchers involved - potentially all active CCS researchers in the UK. The sponsors of their research, the Research Councils, government departments, regulators, non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and industry should also benefit. UKCCSC will help researchers to enhance the value of their research, e.g. through facilitating interactions with the rest of the UK and international CCS community during its execution and assisting in effective dissemination of results. Industry is expected to benefit by gaining better access to timely updates on key results from the UK CCS academic community, as well as the people involved. This should be a key benefit for other stakeholders too. For example, it is expected that UKCCSC will respond to formal consultations from Government and others, where appropriate, as well as providing easy access to independent experts to provide ad-hoc advice on all aspects (technical and non-technical) of CCS projects. This should also facilitate high quality responses to media enquiries and, hence, contribute to public engagement and dialogue on CCS in the UK. The work of UKCCSC has the potential to impact significantly on the UK's ability to deploy CCS in a timely and cost-effective manner as part of a future low carbon energy supply system. This can both enhance the competitiveness of the UK, through effective energy supplies, and contribute to developing the evidence base and the multidisciplinary academic and industrial capacity needed for international deployment of CCS. The timescales for UKCCSC impact range from immediate to very long term. As the main academic forum for UK CCS researchers, UKCCSC will be participating in the UK and wider energy debate from its inception (the launch meeting is planned for October). It is expected that initial contributions could inform international climate negotiations in Copenhagen this year, including by facilitating media briefing and through the involvement of key government departments in the Advisory Panel. It is also expected that academic-industry links developed in UKCCSC will play an important role in identifying suitable research projects to address the fundamental scientific challenges that will inevitably emerge as the first UK CCS projects are planned and deployed in the next few years. Early career researchers trained within UKCCSC will also begin pursuing industrial careers in this expanding field. Looking to the future, over decades better specialist and multi-disciplinary academic research will both improve recognised CCS processes and help invent novel approaches. Senior academics and industrial scientists and engineers in 2050 may remember inspiration from UKCCSC and have enjoyed long-running collaborative relationships with colleagues they first met through UKCCSC to develop some of these ideas. Some of the power plants, pipelines and other CCS infrastructure planned or built during the UKCCSC project and benefitting from the improved interactions will also still be running in 2050. The main features of the UKCCSC structure will be an experienced Secretariat, an Advisory Panel bringing together key CCS stakeholders in the UK, and a well-informed and widely-connected International Reference User Group. The UKCCS Consortium has a tradition of successfully mixing disciplines and people that the UKCCSC network should build on. This is expected to include academic hosts around the UK continuing to work with the Secretariat to bring out the expertise and other strengths of the local academic environment at each meeting. The additional funds and staff in the UKCCSC network will allow the work of the previous UKCCS Consortium to be extended to a wider range of activities including a much broader (and expanding) academic community and also more extensive direct stakeholder involvement, where appropriate.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The UK CCS Community Network (UKCCSC) supported the development of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) academic community in the UK. CCS is a group of technologies that are being developed to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. The UK is home to several world-leading researchers in this area and UKCCSC helped to ensure that the key findings from the work undertaken by the academic community were available to a broad audience (including industry and policy-makers). UKCCSC also developed a successful programme of activities to support development of early career researchers. In the later years of the award, UKCCSC activities were integrated with the UK CCS Research Centre (www.ukccsrc.ac.uk) after it was established in April 2012.
Exploitation Route UKCCSC activities are now being continued as part of the UK CCS Research Centre. The programme of activities delivered by UKCCSC could be used by other research communities that wish to improve coordination between researchers at all levels, ensure effective communication with stakeholders and actively support the development of their early career researchers.
Sectors Chemicals,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://www.ukccsrc.ac.uk
 
Description UKCCSC activities have now been fully integrated with the UK CCS Research Centre. Important outcomes from UKCCSC activity included improved communication routes with key stakeholders to ensure timely use of key findings emerging from the CCS R&D community (e.g. coordinated responses to consultations) and a successful early career researcher (ECR) programme. ECR programme participants were able to put their research in context and meet a broader range of stakeholders (including industry) than would otherwise have been the case. This helped to ensure that their research was relevant and also that key findings were available to important potential users of their work as soon as possible.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description ACCAT membership
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Jon Gibbins and Stuart Haszeldine were members of the UK Government Advisory Committee on Carbon Abatement Technologies until it ceased operation in 2010. This Committee provided advice on various aspects of CCS development in the UK. Outcomes included providing information and evidence that helped to ensure that the UK developed and implemented a 'fit for purpose' regulatory framework for CCS.
 
Description DECC Science Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Jon Gibbins and Stuart Haszeldine are both members of the DECC Scientific Advisory Group (SAG). The primary role of SAG is to provide high-quality, independent scientific challenge and support to the Chief Scientific Advisor at DECC. The outcomes of SAG meetings and advice feed directly into UK Government policy development in energy and climate change.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/science-advisory-group
 
Description Established Early Career Researcher Programme (including Winter School and Annual Meetings)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The UKCCSC ECR programme provided important opportunities for CCS researchers in the UK at an early stage in their career to broaden their knowledge of CCS beyond their specific topic area, with associated improvements in employability. It also helped to develop a network of ECRs across the UK, which will provide a solid foundation for growth in the future. Additionally, the programme sought to ensure that ECRs had good exposure to key stakeholders/CCS practitioners, allowing them to place their work in context. This results in work that is better focussed on research problems that can make an important difference to practitioners and also provides opportunities for researchers to share their findings with relevant practitioners.
 
Description Thermal Generation and CCS Industry Leadership Group
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise convene a Thermal Generation and CCS Industry Leadership Group. Jon Gibbins and Stuart Haszeldine are both members of this group, which provides evidence and advice to Scottish Ministers and their teams on all aspects of thermal generation and CCS technology and policy.
 
Description FCO SIN network 
Organisation Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution UKCCSC worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Science and Innovation Network (FCO SIN) to identify opportunities for best-with-best collaboration and also for UK scientists to inform developing knowledge and understanding of CCS in other countries. This included coordinating academic participation in missions and providing speakers for events.
Collaborator Contribution FCO SIN staff identified local opportunities and, where appropriate, provided financial support for UK researchers participating in missions or other events.
Impact The main outcomes have been visits that helped to establish or strengthen collaborative links (e.g. between leading researchers in the UK and Texas). UK scientists have also made contributions to informing the development of policy related to CCS internationally (e.g. through a seminar held in Germany). The disciplines involved have varied depending on the particular activity. It has, however, been typical for engineers and scientists with research interests/expertise in a range of aspects of CCS to be actively involved.
Start Year 2009
 
Description IEAGHG 
Organisation IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution UKCCSC worked with IEAGHG on developing capacity in the Early Career Researcher community and also encouraging effective engagement of UK researchers in international events/activities that facilitate best-with-best collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Collaborator Contribution IEAGHG (www.ieaghg.org) is a leading international organisation in developing knowledge and understanding in CCS and also in capacity building. They developed the student mentoring programme that UKCCSC students were able to participate in at GHGT-11 (a major international conference in this field). They also worked with UKCCSC to identify/promote other opportunities for the UK academic community (both Early Career Researchers and experienced researchers) to be actively engaged in leading CCS events internationally.
Impact This collaboration successfully delivered a joint student mentoring programme at GHGT-11 and also significant participation of UK Early Career Researchers in the world-leading IEAGHG Summer School. The UK academic community has also had a substantial presence in relevant IEAGHG-led research networks and conferences, helping to maintain and strengthen the presence of UK academic output internationally. The disciplines involved vary from event to event, but have included all disciplines involved in CCS research in the UK (engineering, physical sciences, social sciences etc).
Start Year 2010
 
Description Standardisation activities for CCS 
Organisation British Standards Institute (BSI Group)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution UKCCSC worked with BSI in the very early stages of standardisation activities for CCS. This included providing technical advice (including meetings with other standardisation bodies across Europe) and contributing to the relevant committee on CCS standardisation as a founding member.
Collaborator Contribution BSI is the standardisation body for the UK. By involving the academic community in this work they are helping researchers to achieve more impact with their research findings more quickly.
Impact Academic community regularly engaged with CCS standardisation activity. This is multi-disciplinary activity involving insights from scientists and engineers working in all aspects of CCS.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Contributions to news media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact UKCCSC investigators (and other staff, where appropriate) responded to queries from news media. There was also limited use of press releases. Interviews with journalists often led to a quote being included in the article that was in preparation. The PI and other academics were also interviewed on national radio/television. This activity continues as part of the UKCCSRC grant.

The primary impact of this activity was better quality information on the potential role of CCS and also key public concerns being readily available. This was particularly important at a time when the general public was becoming much more aware of CCS, particularly in areas where potential large-scale projects were under development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description Engagement with CCS practitioners (e.g. industry) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact UKCCSC used a number of routes to actively engage industry and other CCS practitioners, including inviting speakers and encouraging participation at biannual/specialist meetings and an Advisory Committee that included industry representatives. This helped to develop and strengthen links between the academic community and key practitioners. This activity continues as part of the UKCCSRC grant.

CCS practitioners would normally accept invitations to speak at UKCCSC meetings (including participation in Early Career Researcher programme events with a significant capacity-building component, as well as meetings focussed on research activities). Participation tended to be particularly strong at specialist meetings that were in a focussed area that was of particular relevance/concern to practitioners. Meeting topics were selected by a mixture of proposals invited from the research communit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
 
Description Responses to Government consultations and queries from civil servants/parliamentarians 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Throughout the UKCCSC Network activity, core staff and other members of the academic community regularly engaged with policy-makers (civil servants, MPs etc). This activity ranged from invited briefings to responses to formal consultations. There were a broad range of outcomes including improved knowledge and understanding of the breadth, depth and quality of UK academic work on CCS among UK policy-makers. This activity also ensured that emerging findings from the academic community were available in a timely way to policy-makers.

The PI was called to give oral evidence building on written submissions to formal consultations. More generally, the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage (established within the UK Government Department for Energy and Climate Change) made regular use of the UKCCSC core team for advice. This activity continues as part of the UKCCSRC grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014