China ahead in carbon capture race with 73 per cent of patents, while UK filed just 1 per cent
Chinese scientists filed 73 per cent of all carbon capture and storage (CCS) patents last year, new research shared exclusively with City A.M. by law firm Mathys and Squire shows.
Of the 411 CCS patent applications filed last year, 298 were filed in China, while American researchers filed the second most patents, at 42.
By contrast, researchers in the UK filed just five patents over the same time period.
The research warns that the UK is falling behind in a market the International Energy Agency says could be worth over £100bn by 2030.
This follows previous warnings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute that China has a “stunning lead” in important emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, batteries and 6G.
CCS involves removing carbon dioxide that has already been emitted into the atmosphere in order to mitigate climate change.
The technology is at an early stage but governments around the world take a keen interest as global carbon emissions continue to rise despite successive agreements to reduce them.
The UK’s environmental quango, The Climate Change Committee, said in 2018 that the UK might have to store as much as 180m tonnes of Carbon Dioxide a year in order to reach Net Zero by 2050.
The US and EU respectively announced $2.6bn and €1.8bn in funding for CCS projects last year and the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced £20bn in funding for CCS last week at the Budget.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “We are making the UK a world leader in carbon capture, utilisation and storage and are accelerating development of this vital technology as part of our greater efforts to increase energy security and independence. The £20bn CCUS funding package announced in the Budget demonstrates our commitment to making the UK a world leader in this sector.”