EIRO - Direct Air Carbon Capture & Storage (DACCS)

The UK is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050. Various models and projections have been produced by independent groups (including Energy Systems Catapult) as to how this commitment can be achieved. Consistent across those produced to date is that greenhouse gas removal (GGR) or negative emissions technologies are essential to achieve net zero in the UK by offsetting residual, or hard to abate, emissions in certain sectors of the UK economy.

The purpose of this study was to assess the status of Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) technologies and their potential role in achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It examines the current technological characteristics of DACCS, assessed energy and network needs, and brought these together in a modelling exercise to interpret their role in the energy transition.

Key findings 

To make the deployment of DACCS a reality, the report sets out nine recommendations in the areas of data collection, national strategy, and DAC integration.

Data collection

On data collection, Energy Systems Catapult will be making the input data from this assessment publicly available to promote industry collaboration and to aid the identification of gaps in the data. Filling in such gaps and revising technical and cost projections will be crucial as the first large-scale plants come online over the coming years.

The project team are also calling for gaps in data on industrial waste heat availability to be filled to better enable long term planning on the co-location of DACCS at sites where there is a high level of energy use. Limited data currently exists and risks dampening the UK’s ability to plan adequately for the roll out of DACCS.

National strategy

The UK needs a proactive, national DACCS strategy that promotes a shared understanding of the impact DACCS could have on the energy system and the implications this is likely to have on siting and sizing requirements. This should be joined up with the UK’s approach to deploying Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and CCS infrastructure. This would need to be considered alongside factors such as pipeline and grid connections, and existing land use. Failure to bring together disparate elements of the UK’s energy makeup could result in delays to the rollout of DACCS, in turn, harming our pursuit of Net Zero by 2050.

DAC Integration

Further work needs to be undertaken to understand the implications of co-locating DACCS with power plants. “Ideal” sites exist today for co-location and could be used to develop roadmaps for integration.

While the assessment’s focus was on DAC technologies for CO2 capture and permanent storage, there are utilisation options for CO2 in industries such as food and beverage. These areas would reduce the need for fossil fuel CO2 emissions but would at most be net carbon neutral. There may be interest on the impact of these technologies versus their current fossil fuel equivalents – particularly with the recent closure announcement of the ammonia plant at Billingham, one of the UK’s biggest producers of CO2.

Read the Report

EIRO - Direct Air Carbon Capture & Storage (DACCS)

Dataset: Direct Air Capture Projects List

List of pilot, demonstration and planned commercial direct air carbon capture (DAC) projects.


Dataset: Direct Air Capture Organisation List

Information on organisations involved in the development of Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies.


Dataset: Direct Air Capture Technology Data

Technology data on direct air carbon capture (DAC) technologies.


Dataset: Direct Air Capture Resource Assessment

National scale assessment of resource needs for DACCS technologies, scaled based on current resource requirements for DACCS facilities, rather than reduced future needs.


Dataset: EIRO DACCS - ESME Monte Carlo outputs batches 1-6

Outputs for 6 batches of Monte Carlo runs conducted in ESME presented in the EIRO DACCS final report.


Dataset: EIRO DACCS - ESME Reference Case v6.1 - Core Results

Core results charts from the deterministic Reference Case scenario presented in the EIRO DACCS final report.


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