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Spring budget reaction: UK to invest £20bn in expanding CCUS ‘everywhere’

Between those technologies which are directed to the supply of energy on the one hand and those which are directed to the end use of energy on the other hand, CCUS is one of a number of key enabling technologies within the energy sector which aim to power the energy transition.  One metric for determining innovation within any given sector is to look at trends in the filing of intellectual property (IP) rights, more particularly patent filings. 

According to the European Patent Office and International Energy Agency, patenting filing activity for all enabling technologies grew in the 20 years from 2000. Enabling technologies represented 34% of all low carbon technology patent filings in 2019. The Report also highlighted that the number of international patent filings in the CCUS technology grew significantly during that time (almost trebled) but is still much smaller than other enabling technologies such as batteries, hydrogen and fuel cells, smart grids and storage.

The UK government’s investment amongst other things aims to attract private sector investment in order to support the early development of CCUS in the UK. Given the globally competitive nature of the energy sector and that innovation is seen as a key driver in supporting the energy transition, capturing the innovation likely to be generated needs to be considered alongside capturing the carbon itself if the industry is to not just create but maintain the 50,000 jobs the government hopes their investment will foster.

The UK’s carbon capture utilisation and sector (CCUS) sector received a £20bn funding boost from the Spring Budget today. Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said, “Today I want to develop another plank of green economy – Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) – and allocating up to £20bn of support for the early development of CCUS, starting with projects from our east coast, to Merseyside, to North Wales, paving the way for CCUS everywhere across the UK as we approach 2050. That will support 50,000 jobs, attract private sector investment and help to capture 20-to-30m tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.” The Chancellor also announced a £600m tax relief package on energy efficiency measures, and pledged support for nuclear, classing it as ‘environmentally sustainable’.


energy & environment