Low-carbon innovation will save billions

17th September 2012


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  • Energy ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation

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IEMA

Investing in developing carbon capture and storage (CCS), marine renewables and electricity storage over the next decade could be worth an additional £126 billion to the UK economy by 2050, according to new research backed by DECC and the business department (BIS)

Assessments by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group – an alliance of government departments and bodies including the Carbon Trust, Energy Technologies Institute and the Technology Strategy Board – conclude that channelling hundreds of millions of pounds into cost-cutting innovations could save the UK between £17 billion and £72 billion by 2050 on top of the substantial savings that will be created by generating low-carbon energy.

Green business opportunities worth a further £10 billion to £54 billion are also forecast.

According to the group, CCS technologies need the greatest level of investment and innovations should focus on ensuring the security of long-term storage of CO2. The assessment estimates that innovation could drive down the costs of CCS by 15% by 2025 and 40% by 2050, saving as much as £45 billion.

The analysis of marine energy confirms that innovations are urgently needed to bring down generation costs by up to 75% by 2025. Investing in innovation now could be worth between £4 billion and £12 billion in 2050, the report concludes.

Meanwhile, the Technology Strategy Board launched a new £13 million research and development fund aimed at cutting marine energy costs and the Scottish government has named the five firms that will share £7.9 million of financial support to demonstrate prototype marine devices.

The Scottish authorities also confirmed that four firms are competing to win its £10 million Saltire prize, which will be awarded to the marine energy team that generates the most electricity over a continuous two-year period.

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