UK Carbon Capture and Storage Community Network (UKCCSC)

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


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.


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Description CO2 storage in the deep subsurface is secure for geological timescales, and is a critically important weapon in climate change mitigation
Exploitation Route Follow on research. Practical guides to commercial developers
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Education,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

Description At the commencement of this grant, UK research on CCS was very much in the traditional lone researcher, isolated University group methodology. Emerging: Through this network, communication between disciplines has evolved extremely rapidly. Notable features are the crossover between social sciences, of public and institutional perception, into evidence flowing from work on power plant engineering and development of existing and innovative carbon capture technologies, through to understanding safety and security of pipeline transportation on land, and the operationalisation, safety, and resilience of deep geological storage in porous sediments beneath the North Sea. Partly through this work, the UK is the most intense CCS nation in the world, with over 17 commercial CCS projects having been proposed, and 6 having been taken to engineering design stages at multi-million pound spending. Public private third NGO sectors: CCS is a new technology group. It is frequently viewed with suspicion by the general public, and especially by NGO and environmental charities. A key role of this network has been the ability to engage directly with communities and with individuals affected or concerned or stakeholders in CCS. This has resulted in trusted dialogue, so that the UK is one of only two nations in Europe where CCS developments can be welcomed by the general public, understood by investors, and appreciated by industry. Challenges: most difficulty has been experienced with the erratic course of public and political policy, linked to the difficulty of first and innovative large industrial developments. Most unusually, the research undertaken within this network is directly affected by real-world issues such as: Treasury budgets election cycles, or climate change agreements. Current difficulties relate to the slower than expected progress of commercial CCS projects, such that commercial industries business and investors have not perceived that a steady cin of projects is guaranteed in the short term. Consequently it is proving difficult to maintain a large number of industry and business contacts, because many commercial actors are choosing to scale down their CCS activity, until more commercial projects are available. This has not halted the progress of high quality research, which has already delivered significant impacts, and is still showing promise of producing further innovation in cost reduction and efficiency and improvement of confidence during the next 5 to 15 years.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Construction,Education,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description Science Advisory Committee DECC Department of Energy and Climate Chnage
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Work analysis on carbon capture and Storage, shale gas fracking, radioactive waste disposal Results : significant to fundamental alterations to government policy