Norway Proposes Major Cuts to Carbon Capture and Storage Budget

World | Sustainable Development

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

On the same day at the UK government finally unveiled new funding support for the carbon capture usage and storage sector (CCUS), the Norwegian government proposed cutting its own support for the technology by 90 per cent.

Norway, which is seen as a leader in CCUS research, has proposed cutting funding for the technology from 360 million kroner ($45m) to just 20 million kroner ($2.5m) next year, according to Norwegian NGO Bellanova.

The move would put in jeopardy the development of carbon capture technology at three sites around the Oslo fjord where experiments are underway – a cement producer, an ammonia producer and waste incineration plant – as well as further research into the transport and storage of carbon dioxide.

Bellanova claimed the proposed cuts are “incomprehensible”. “By taking such steps, the government sows doubt amongst all the actors involved in CCS activities in Norway,” Olav Øye, Bellona adviser for CO2 capture and storage, said. “The technology is ripe and industry is ready. This budget risks undermining all other policies and investments on climate change.”

He vowed to work with the opposition and the government’s supporting parties to reverse the cuts before the budget is finalised later this year.

The move from Norway came on the same day as the UK government unveiled its long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy, which set out plans for £100m of funding for CCUS technologies, the first new funding since the government unexpectedly scrapped a £1bn competition in 2015.

Campaigners now fear Norway’s decision could undermine confidence in the technology and disrupt plans by the UK government to use Norway’s approach to R&D as a blueprint for its own CCUS innovation programme.

“The budget sends a signal that Norway is no longer serious about CCS,” Øye warned.