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Today marks 10,000 days until 1 January 2050, which is when the
UK Government, as well as many other governments around the world,
has committed to reaching net zero. There is still a huge
amount of work to do to reach the goal of net zero. It is
unclear whether there is enough support being provided by
governments around the world to reach this target, but government
support is growing.
One area of technology which will play a part in reaching net
zero by 2050 is carbon capture, utilisation, and storage, commonly
referred to as CCUS. The Department for Business, Energy
& Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced 20 innovative
projects for the next stage of its CCUS clusters process.
These relate to power CCUS, which involves capturing carbon
dioxide generated at power generation sites, industrial carbon
capture, which involves capturing carbon dioxide generated at
industrial sites, as well as hydrogen. These projects will be
considered for government funding to use carbon capture technology
to decarbonise their business.
The UK has one of the largest potential carbon dioxide storage
capacities in Europe, so it is good to see this potential being
supported by the UK Government. There is a lot of ongoing
research into making CCUS cheaper and more efficient, and hopefully
any new knowledge and technologies generated in the UK can be
exported around the world to assist in arriving at a global net
zero by 2050. Generating expertise and technology in the UK
supports UK jobs and industry, as well as helps protect the
environment for future generations, so it is very important for all
governments to support this effort.
The magnitude of the task at hand cannot be underestimated and
10,000 days is an extremely short time to work with. We have
seen the massive investments and advancements made in electronics
and communications technologies over the last 10,000 days, and we
will likely need to see a similar level of investment and
advancement if we are to reach net zero by 2050. A wide range
of technologies will be required, and CCUS is just one of a whole
suite of technologies, including hydrogen, sustainable aviation
fuel, batteries, and AI, coupled with lifestyle changes, to reach
this ambitious but crucial goal. It should be remembered that it
will be necessary to use fossil fuels for the foreseeable future,
but we should aim to use them as efficiently as possible, and
technological advancements like CCUS will help to mitigate any
impact of the use of fossil fuels.
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