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|THE Scottish Government has unveiled a
vision for Scotland to lead the way globally in key technology to
capture carbon dioxide from power stations and store it underground.
A "road map" for the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
has been drawn up.
It reveals that between 2015 and 2020 the Scottish Government is
aiming to have two power stations furnished with CCS technology up
And the report reveals Holyrood is aiming for Scotland to have a
quarter of Europe's CCS plants by 2020.
The technology is considered crucial in the fight to tackle
greenhouse gas emissions.
It would enable power stations – currently among the world's biggest
polluters – to continue operating without putting government climate
change targets at risk.
The technology captures emitted from the power station. It is then
sent through pipes and held underground, such as in disused gas
fields under the North Sea.
However, the technology has not yet been shown to work on a
commercial scale anywhere in the world.
If Scotland can develop CCS first, political leaders believe that
the country could export its expertise across the world, with huge
benefits to the economy. The new road map, published yesterday, was
produced by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
Energy minister Jim Mather said: "Scotland has all the attributes to
become a world leader in carbon capture.
"The North Sea alone has enough capacity to store emissions from
industrial coal-fired plants for the next 200 years – a capacity
greater than Netherlands, Denmark and Germany combined."
And he added that Scotland's skills in the oil and gas industries
could be transferred.
"As a hugely important technology in the fight against climate
change, CCS offers Scotland a fantastic platform for low-carbon
economic growth," he said.
"We now want to see a number of CCS demonstration projects developed
ScottishPower has ambitious plans to fit out Longannet Power Station
in Fife with CCS technology.
It is competing with Eon for about £1 billion of funding from the UK
government for the scheme. Eon is hoping to win the money for a CCS
project at Kingsnorth in Kent.
The Scottish Government also yesterday published guidance on how
ministers will decide whether to grant consent to a new power
It confirms that any new coal-fired power station would need to
demonstrate CCS on at least 300 megawatts of its capacity from the
This has been criticised by environmental groups as too low. Friends
of the Earth Scotland argues that only new power stations entirely
fitted out with CCS from the start should be allowed.
Scottish Labour energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald argued Scotland's
opportunity to lead the world on carbon capture depends entirely on
continuing to belong to the United Kingdom and the single British
market for electricity generation.
"Nothing will happen in Scotland on carbon capture and storage
without full support from the UK government, simply because carbon
capture and carbon storage are extremely expensive new
He added: "Without British government support, the cost of taking
forward CCS would have to be spread across only 5 million consumers,
instead of over 50 million. Quite simply, nothing would happen."