* Vattenfall blames lack of political will
* UK scrapped a leading CCS programme in October
BERLIN/LONDON Dec 5 Swedish utility
Vattenfall on Monday abandoned plans for a 1.5 billion
euro ($2 billion) carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot project
in Germany, due to popular opposition based on environmental
"We must unfortunately accept that there is currently
insufficient will in German federal politics to implement the
European directive so that a CCS demonstration project in
Germany could be possible", said Tuomo Hatakka, head of the
company's Business Division Production and its country manager
"This is a harsh setback for innovation, climate change and
the German economy," he added.
CCS is a new technology to make fossil-fueled power plants,
on which Germany relies heavily, less harmful to the environment
by capturing their CO2 emissions for storage underground, but it
has struggled to win political and public acceptance.
Local citizens' groups from around the planned project in
Jaenschwalde in the eastern state of Brandenburg protested
against the project, which was targeted for completion in 2016,
citing fears that leaks could be uncontrollable and that the
CO2, which is noxious in high dosages, could impair the quality
of drinking water.
Hatakka also said Vattenfall would close test installations
for possible storage sites in Brandenburg.
CCS draft legislation is currently with the mediation
committee of Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament. The
draft law was approved by the Bundestag or lower house but
rejected by the upper house. The mediation committee has
adjourned twice without result, Vattenfall said in its
"Vattenfall has emphasised that a clear legal framework is
needed and that the existing draft for the CCS law is, without
substantial improvement, insufficient for multi-billion
investments in further development of this technology," the
In October, a row between the UK government and Scottish
Power, owned by Spain's Iberdrola, led to a
cancellation of a 1 billion pound CCS demonstration plant at
Longannet in Scotland after the British government withdrew
Analysts said the withdrawal signalled that the technology
remains too costly and that it undermined Britain's ambition to
become a clean technology leader.
As a result, Britain is unlikely to see commercial CCS
projects by 2020, and the government should devise a plan to
reach climate targets by the end of the decade without CCS, a UK
parliamentary committee stated in a report.