Last year, at All-Energy 2017, we were delighted to announce that the Acorn project had secured European support from the ‘Advancing CCS Technologies’ (ACT) funding round, part of the ERA-NET programme. Acorn is a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project at St Fergus in north east Scotland, based on a phased development of industrial emissions and the production of hydrogen, which re-uses existing infrastructure, and has a wide portfolio of build out options to enable decarbonisation. The ACT funding is supporting the feasibility studies, which are currently underway by the ACT Acorn consortium – Pale Blue Dot Energy, the Bellona Foundation, Heriot-Watt University, Radboud University, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Liverpool.
Now, one year on, we are at All-Energy 2018 and Acorn has progressed. In the feasibility phase, the ACT Acorn project is 50% complete and the reports completed to date can be accessed from the project website. On 20th June, the ACT Acorn consortium will be hosting a webinar, ‘Acorn 2025: A pathway to decarbonising the UK’, which will provide the vision pathway for the project and demonstrate the critical value of the ACT-funded research. To register, click here.
In September 2017, the Scottish Government also announced their support for Acorn in their Programme for Government. In early 2018, the Acorn CCS infrastructure project, CO2 SAPLING, formally secured European support as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) and is now starting to move into pre-FEED activity, which will also be jointly funded by the public and private sectors. On top of this, we have been meeting with local politicians to raise awareness of Acorn and are developing industrial partnerships to drive the Acorn project forward.
Acorn is a way of starting small, creating optionality and being able to grow quickly at the right time. It is an exemplar of a low cost, low risk, option-rich approach that can be used in other places around the world.