Released on 20 July, the report warned that about £100mn of taxpayer funding and £80mn of private investment put into developing projects was at “significant risk” of being wasted, as the people involved in the schemes had moved on and knowledge was lost.

The NAO also warned that the late-stage and unexpected cancellation of the competition, which was launched in 2012 following the scrapping of another CCS programme the previous year, increased the risk that “investors will be deterred from dealing with the government or require a higher return to do so, which would increase the cost of a future CCS policy”.

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