TINAs: Examining the potential of marine energy, carbon capture, electricity networks and storage

This new analysis, under the Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs), delves into marine energy, electricity networks and storage, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). It examines the commercial potential and key economic benefits of these technologies to the UK, alongside the key hurdles which need to be overcome and how investment can best be channelled to ensure they their full potential.

The work has been undertaken by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), which is made up of a range of different bodies including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Carbon Trust, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and other organisations with significant low carbon innovation interests.

The TINA analytical framework was developed and implemented by the Carbon Trust with contributions from all core LCICG members as well as input from numerous other expert individuals and organisations.

Key findings of the Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs)

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS):

CCS for the power sector has tremendous potential to help the UK and the world effectively meet GHG and energy security targets. Innovation across the CCS technology chain could reduce UK energy system costs by £10 to 45 billion* to 2050, and innovation to ensure the security of long-run CO2 storage remains particularly critical to CCS viability. Innovation can also help create a UK industry with the potential to contribute further economic value of £3 to 16 billion* to 2050. Significant private sector investment in innovation, catalysed by public sector support where there are market failures, can deliver the bulk of these benefits with strong value for money.

Electricity networks and storage (EN&S):

Advanced EN&S technologies have the potential to address new stresses that are likely to be placed on the electricity system, and to do so more cost-effectively than would be possible through traditional methods of grid reinforcement and fossil-fuel-powered system balancing capacity. EN&Stechnologies could play an important role in the future energy system, supporting the uptake of renewable electricity generation, renewable heat, electric vehicles (EVs), and other low carbon technologies. Innovation in EN&S technologies could save the UK £4 to £19 billion* to 2050 and could help create UK-based business opportunities that could contribute an estimated £6 to £34 billion* to GDP to 2050.

Marine energy:

The UK has a large natural resource of marine energy that could make a meaningful contribution to the UK energy mix from around 2025. Cost of energy generated will need to reach around £100/MWh by 2025 for marine energy to be competitive with other technologies. This pathway is ambitious but possible with significant innovation. If successful, innovation in Marine energy could save the energy system approximately £3 to £8 billion* and help create a UK industry that could contribute an estimated £1 to £4 billion* to GDP up to 2050.

The TINA findings will be used to underpin the design and focus of DECC's and other LCICG's members' programmes and activities in these technology areas.

The first TINA on offshore wind was published in February 2012. TINAs for other technology areas including Bioenergy, Industrial Energy Efficiency, Renewable Heat, Domestic Buildings, Nuclear Fission and Hydrogen are expected to be published over the next few months.

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* Cumulative (2010-2050) present discounted values