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(Article) Plan to trap CO2 under North Sea

  • 09-09-2009 8:20am
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann

    BRITISH SCIENTISTS are confident that capturing CO2 emissions from power stations and storing them beneath the North Sea will not only be critical to reduce climate change, but could become big business if the same service is offered to other European nations.
    Moneypoint power station in Co Clare, for example, if signed up for such a scheme could dramatically reduce Ireland’s CO2 emissions.
    What’s more the scientists claim that this approach could add as little as €30 a month to a typical home electricity bill.
    The idea is not new. Burning fossil fuels in power stations, whether coal, oil or gas, produces CO2. “Carbon capture and storage lets you capture that CO2, pipe it away and inject it safely and securely for long-term storage, deep beneath a place like the North Sea, so it’s stored and does not go into the atmosphere,” Prof Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh told a session at the Festival of Science in Guildford. “From the geology we know that there’s lots of storage underneath the North Sea,” said Prof Haszeldine. His latest data showed that Britain’s storage capacity is greater than most of western Europe combined, excluding Norway, which together with Britain holds the majority of oil reserves in the North Sea.
    “The UK can store 100 years’ worth of northwest Europe’s power stations’ emissions. With this we can take out a third of the UK’s CO2 emissions if we want to,” said Prof Haszeldine.
    “The problem is this is big-scale equipment. It’s quite expensive to do, but it’s cheap per person.” Prof Haszeldine believes the UK’s expertise in the oil and gas industry puts it in an ideal position to become a world leader in this technology, but that fast action is required.
    “In terms of climate mitigation options, this is one of the cheapest, and so what I am pushing for is for the government to get on with it, to go faster, to build five of these by 2016.” The safety of the scheme has already been proven, according to Dr Mike Stephenson, head of energy at the British Geological Survey. The evidence comes from Statoil’s Sleipner West natural gas field in the Norwegian North Sea.
    “We’ve been putting C02 in [Sleipner] since 1996. We put about a million tonnes a year down into the rocks about a thousand metres beneath the seabed,” said Dr Stephenson. That’s enough for one tenth of the output of a big power station, said Prof Haszeldine.
    “The storage space is microscopic holes in the rock,” added Prof Haszeldine, “it’s not lakes, it’s not caves underground.”
    The scientists are able to image the CO2 collecting in the reservoir, using seismic measurements, and have shown that there is no leakage.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob

    There are similar plans for the depleted Kinsale field and even for the Kish Bank off Dublin . Roll on the carbon sequestration bubble :(

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,074 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk

    approach could add as little as €30 a month to a typical home electricity bill.

    €30 per month, that is ridiculously expensive, you could build a Nuclear power plant or two for that sort of extra money and not need to rely on dirty and dangerous Chinese coal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,686 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Why bother do this? To save the Ice Caps???

    Bull... have a peek here...

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick
    Registered User

    Danno wrote: »
    Why bother do this? To save the Ice Caps???

    Bull... have a peek here...

    There's no location given for the pic of the sub and could you outline Bill O'Reilly's scientific qualifications for us.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,686 ✭✭✭ Danno

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