The UK government is hoping that innovations in the supply chain for carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems will help to improve the performance and cost of CCS technologies.

It has launched a £20 million CCS innovation competition designed to boost the development of CCS components and systems for pilot-scale demonstration.

The competition will complement a second, larger competition due for launch in the coming weeks that will fund large-scale CCS demonstrations.

“By supporting research and development, this £20 million competition is an important step towards making cost competitive CCS a reality by the 2020s,” said Energy Secretary Edward Davey.

Funding component development will also help to underpin growth in the CCS industry in the UK, said Davey. “The UK’s first carbon capture pilot, opened at Ferrybridge last year, is an early example of what CCS means in terms of jobs and growth. More than 20 UK based companies provided parts and services to the project.”

The £20 million competition is part of a four-year, £125 million government-led CCS research and development programme. The CCS industry will be worth an estimated £6.5 billion a year by the late 2020s.

Earlier in March the government published details of the £1 billion CCS commercialisation programme in the Official Journal of the European Union, inviting organisations to register an interest in participating. It has made CCS development a key part of its plan to reduce carbon emissions in the UK but its first attempt to fund a demonstration project was abandoned last year.