Carbon Capture and Storage is Essential - but it's not a Free Lunch.
Originally published by Nick Hollinghurst - promoting social democracy as a Liberal Democrat and working for a greener world!
Carbon capture has actually been around for a long time. In the late 1930s it was used to remove carbon dioxide from town case to improve its calorific value - but not for long.
Carbon capture will cost a significant amount in terms of finance and energy - electricity production costs will go up and the energy available to consumers will go down. There will be net and not inconsiderable reduction in capacity.
Then there's the problem that toxic chemicals and solvents are used to treat the flue gas.
And once the carbon dioxide is captured then there is additional cost of getting it to the storage site and them forcing the stuff down into geological receptacle of choice.
None of this is impossible, and improved methods of capture are being tested right now, but I think it is fair to say that this will be a transition technology to avoid waste of the investment already made in power stations still with decades of useful productive life.
We must not think that we can avoid the major imperative which is for everyone to use less fossil fuel, fewer raw materials and adopt a slower, more sustainable and, possibly, a more friendly life-style - because saving the planet is going to involve us doing a lot more things collectively instead of individually.
We must not let carbon capture produce a complacent attitude that stops us buying less stuff, flying less, driving less and buying smaller, narrower and lighter motor cars. And the drive for more solar and wind energy production must be intensified.
Carbon capture will have to be done, but we should accept that it will come at a cost - but nothing like the cost of not doing anything at all.