Guidance on Carbon Capture Readiness and Applications under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989: a consultation

This consultation builds upon the new UK policy on carbon capture readiness (CCR), which was announced in April 2009 as a result of the government consultation 'Towards Carbon Capture and Storage' (see Towards Carbon Capture and Storage).

This consultation was designed to explain the details of the implementation of the CCR policy through Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Section 36 concerns 'consent required for the construction etc. of generating stations'. It requires that the construction, operation and extension of all electricity generating stations in England and Wales is accompanied by consent from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

The consultation asked stakeholders to express their views on the clarity and adequacy of a draft guidance document in the context of the government's goal of deploying CCS in the UK.

Further to the consultation, a final guidance document (Carbon capture readiness (CCR): a guidance note for Section 36 Electricity Act 1989 consent applications) was published, which provides advice on the information which has to be given to DECC at the time when the s.36 application is submitted, in order to show that a proposed generating station is 'carbon capture ready'.

Information covered by the document includes: allocation of space; assessment of the technical feasibility of retrofit; establishment of suitable offshore storage areas; feasibility of CO2 transport; and the assessment of the economic feasibility of retrofitting with CCS within the installations lifetime. The economic assessment is to cover all phases of the CCS chain. In addition, Annex G provides model wording for planning conditions likely to be attached to any consent given under s.36. These conditions limit the applicant's ability to change the CCR status of the site and provide for the periodic assessment of the feasibility of CCS retrofit throughout the installation's construction and life-cycle.

This guidance document will supplement existing guidance concerning information requirements under the whole of s.36. However, the CCR guidance is an iterative document which could be reviewed in the light of new technical and regulatory developments, and of the experience gathered with the applications' review.

This guidance on the CCR requirement must also be taken into account by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) in its decisions on development consent for 'nationally significant infrastructure projects' (see Consultation on National Policy Statements).

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