Sian Crampsie

The UK government has proposed adding carbon capture and storage (CCS) retrofitted to existing power plants to a list of technologies eligible for support under its contracts for difference (CFD) scheme.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a consultation on its proposal, which would help companies to develop and commercialise CCS technology, it said.

At present, only new power plants fitted with CCS equipment are eligible to compete for CFD contracts. At the sale time, existing coal-fired capacity is being closed down or mothballed because of increasingly stringent environmental standards.

"Given the number of emissions intensive plant already in place within the UK, and wither in place or under construction internationally, it is essential that CCS technologies are developed globally for application to both new build and existing infrastructure," said DECC in its consultation document.

CFDs were introduced last year in the UK under the Electricity Market Reform legislation as a means of supporting deployment of large-scale, low-carbon electricity generation. They provide generators with a guaranteed price for their electricity and are awarded in a competitive auction process.

The consultation closes on December 2, 2015.