Carbon Capture and Storage: Water Treatment

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Ceidwadwyr, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report by the Water Research Centre entitled Pre-Trial Audit of the Planetary and South West Water Ocean and Alkalinity Enhancement Pilot, published in February 2024.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The pilot proposed by Planetary Technologies and South West Water involves the addition of alkaline material into the sea to assess the extent to which this results in the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as a method of engineered greenhouse gas removal.

The Environment Agency commissioned the Water Research Centre (WRC) to independently audit Planetary Technologies’ proposal and received WRC’s report in February 2024. The report concluded the trial was low risk and made several recommendations to Planetary. The WRC report can be found on a dedicated Planetary Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement Trial Information Page hosted by the Environment Agency. More information can be found here. Planetary Technologies have informed the Environment Agency that they wish to delay their formal application for this proposed trial for a period of approximately 6 to 12 months, to allow them time to action the recommendations.

The Government is still evaluating the potential for marine-based technologies, such as ocean alkalinity enhancement, to provide a route for effective greenhouse gas removal. The benefits and risks to the environment need to be explored before these technologies can be deployed on a large scale. Pilot studies are essential to understanding the risks and benefits of these new technologies, but they need to be regulated to ensure they do not have adverse impacts themselves on the marine environment.

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