March 17, 2010 / 11:42 AM / 9 years ago

British govt funds SSE clean coal pilot in CCS plan

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE.L) has been awarded 6.3 million pounds ($9.45 million) in funding for a clean coal project in Yorkshire, the government said on Wednesday.

SSE’s pilot project to capture climate-warming carbon from a small part of its Ferrybridge coal-fired power plant will form part of a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) economic area covering Yorkshire and Humber, it said.

“CCS presents a massive industrial growth opportunity for the UK... And we have some of the best potential sites in all of Europe for CO2 storage under the North Sea,” Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said, launching the government’s CCS strategy on Wednesday.

“Coal is the most abundant worldwide energy resource, but it is also the most polluting, so there is no solution to climate change without CCS.”

SSE’s Ferrybridge pilot bridges the gap between laboratory-scale trials and larger-scale projects the government plans to fund from next year.

The government said last week it would fund clean coal design and development studies at E.ON UK’s (EONGn.DE) Kingsnorth and ScottishPower’s (IBE.MC) Longannet coal-fired power plants. [ID:nLDE62B1TW]

Large scale CCS is as yet unproven, but is seen as a key technology in the global battle to halt climate change.

Britain hopes to be able to export the technology to big coal burners like China and India, but some industry observers say China could develop its own CCS equipment more rapidly and cheaply.

Reporting by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Amanda Cooper

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