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Carbon Capture and Wind Farm Interests Collide in the UK

Jamie Wilkie
I drink your milkshake
Created by ENERGYminute

Cut-throat competition for limited energy resources has existed since cavemen discovered wooden clubs. In the North Sea – a fertile basin for oil and gas development – a new clash is brewing over emerging energy transition technologies.

Background: BP (with partners) is planning to use favorable geology in the North Sea to build the 450 million tonne Endurance Carbon Capture project as part of the first phase of the UK’s Carbon Capture Industrial Strategy.

In the exact same area, leading offshore wind producer Ørsted is planning the Hornsea 4 wind farm. Emerging energy transition hub, right?

Not so fast

Both companies have been granted rights to develop their respective projects, but there’s just one problem: boats required to monitor for carbon dioxide leaks don’t mix well with giant turbines sticking out of the sea.

When rights were initially granted, nobody was sure if the two types of projects could coexist. Now that it’s clear they can’t, no one is sure how the conflict will be resolved.

Zoom out: It took decades for “old” energy companies to develop fair ways to manage competing interests in oil and natural gas development. Let’s hope energy transition projects can come to solutions quicker.