Carbon capture and storage is a field India and the UK have great potential to collaborate on, writes the founder of a clean carbon company. The UK and India have a history of collaboration when it comes to energy, something which looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Notably, ahead of the November 2015 Paris climate summit, the two countries penned a comprehensive package of collaboration on energy and climate change, including commercial deals worth £3.2 billion, and a £10-million joint research partnership into new low-carbon technologies. Energy collaboration is also a key focus area of the India-UK Strategic Partnership. As a UK-based company with Indian roots (my co-founder, Prateek Bumb and I were college students at IIT Kharagpur when we came up with the idea for Carbon Clean Solutions), we have a lot of experience to draw from in both India and the UK. From what I have seen, I believe both countries can learn from and help each other when it comes to promoting carbon capture technology - something which will be vital to tackling both countries' respective climate change challenges. While the concept of CCS (carbon capture and storage) is already familiar in both markets, being widely referenced in the media, the concept of CCU and the idea of putting the captured carbon dioxide to practical use is less well known, but arguably more commercially important. It is this re-use element that I would like to focus on, as I believe it has huge economic potential for both countries. In standard carbon capture processes, the captured carbon dioxide (CO ) is usually buried deep underground. But it can be used to make useful products as well - this process is called carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). CCU is a vital technology, allowing industries such as power and coal to decarbonise themselves profitably and sustainably. The UK's relationship with carbon capture has been a tricky one, notably with the cancelling of a £1 billion grant for developing new CCS technology in 2015. But as beneficiaries of a UK government grant in the past, we know that there is a real desire to explore the opportunities that carbon capture affords. However, there are clear barriers in the way of successful development. For example, unlike India, the UK has no proven demonstration in place, while some industries are poorly incentivised, or not incentivised at all, to take up or at least consider CCU. In India, we were able to successfully launch the first unsubsidised, industrial-scale example of CCU in operation in the world today, at the end of 2016. We are helping Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals (TAC) a soda ash producer, to capture CO from their own thermal plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, and convert it to soda ash. Our technology enables us to capture not just CO , but soot and other pollutants from the plant. Therefore, TAC has now been able to completely decarbonise their plant, and capture 60,000 tonnes of CO per year in the process. The soda ash produced from the converted CO is then sold as a raw material to the glass industry. In a nutshell, CCU has allowed TAC to become a completely self-sufficient soda ash producer. We currently have more projects like this in the pipeline in India, and we think there is real potential for India to become a leader in clean carbon technologies - a strategic win in achieving the goals set at COP21. The reality is that, despite the rise of renewable energy in India, the country will continue to depend on coal and gas for much of its energy needs, as nuclear is unlikely to provide a large share in a rapidly developing country with an ever-growing population. Therefore, CCU is crucial. Now that we have overcome the demonstration barrier and proved that CCU can work in India, our goal is to take this model to other markets, including the UK. However, before we can get the technology off the ground in the UK, there is other big barrier we need to overcome: Financing. This is another area where I think the UK can learn from our experience in India. We have proved that CCU does not need to be funded by subsidy: If someone can build a plant in India based on funding rates in excess of 10 per cent interest, then surely there is an opportunity to get something off the ground at a more modest, say, 4 per cent level. The economics of CCU have radically changed in a short space of time. It's worth remembering the scale and size of the opportunity at stake: Estimates put the size of the CO2 reuse market at more than $1 trillion per annum. CO2 can now be converted into over 25 different products, transforming it into an asset rather than a burden. I believe that effective CCU could lead to a wave of new green and clean products for UK and EU markets where carbon intensity reduction targets already exist. So does India have all the answers to commercialising carbon capture technologies Not quite. Our business was able to thrive thanks to grants from the UK and US governments, and research facilities in the UK and Europe. Indeed, Western countries have the infrastructure to support new technology ideas and that's what needs to be developed in India. It needs to provide more physical settings for innovators to start working on products - labs, product shops, idea workplaces, and so on. India also needs to allocate significant national budget to R&D and partnerships with start-ups. Last but not least, it is imperative that IP (intellectual property) grants and enforcement is strengthened, in order for India to become a true destination for IP-based product innovators such as ourselves. This is why I think collaboration between India and the UK is so important, as there are lessons the two countries can learn from each other in order to meet their respective energy challenges. The UK has expertise from its world-leading services sectors that can help deliver key Indian priorities - one of which is sustainable energy and related infrastructure development. On the other hand, India has demonstrated that CCU is in fact commercially viable, and has proof that it works, and projects that the UK can learn from and hopefully emulate. We are hoping that the UK's ties to India could potentially enable CCU projects to commercialise in the UK in the not too distant future. Aniruddha Sharma is CEO, Carbon Clean Solutions Limited (CCSL), and represents CCSL in the Carbon Capture Storage Association (CCSA).