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UK energy minister wants to financially support two CCS projects

Britain’s energy minister wants to fund two pilot carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, a technology the UK is banking on to reduce climate-warming emissions and to develop as a new export product, Reuters reports.

Britain sees CCS as a key technology for reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector, and the government has launched a £1 billion competition to fund one or more projects.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State Edward Davey will next week meet the heads of the UK’s coalition government to make a case for awarding government funds to two CCS projects, an official source familiar with the plans told Reuters.

Up until now it has not being clear whether the competition would fund one or more projects.

Britain’s previous attempts to finance CCS projects failed as costs surged above expectations, but the UK is counting on the technology to help it meet legally-binding climate targets and is banking on using it as a new export product to countries which have a vast fleet of polluting coal plants, such as China.

Britain’s plan to fund CCS projects runs alongside a European Union program, which has earmarked two UK CCS projects as contenders to win up to 337 million euros of funding each raised from the sale of carbon permits in the EU.

EU countries whose projects were short-listed for the funding have to tell the Commission by the end of the month which three projects, including any renewable energy schemes, they would be able to support beyond the EU money to ensure they get built.

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