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What can be done to help the development of a U K CCS i ndustry?

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

This article considers the regulatory regime for carbon capture and storage projects ("CCS projects") in the United Kingdom (UK). At present the lack of a stable, long-term regulatory and incentive policy framework for CCS projects acts as a barrier to investment. This is compounded by the cumbersome and fragmented approval process. This article explores the current regime and approval process, which requires developers to seek approval for seabed access, electricity generation, marine works and pipelines, coast protection works and onshore works. The article also explores the UK Government's proposed changes to the regulatory regime. The article considers the key elements of the proposed CCS regime contained in the Marine Bill White Paper, released in March 2007. The UK Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform ("DBERR") has indicated that a new tailored CCS legislative regime will complement the existing regime. The White Paper includes options for modification of the existing legislation to make it better suited to CCS regulation, or alternatively CCS regulation via secondary legislation. The article concludes that UK Government's proposals for a new regime do complement the existing approval regime: however, there is still significant scope to amend existing legislation to further reduce the regulatory burden on CCS developers.

Affiliations: 1: SJ Berwin LLP.


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