Scotland is well placed to take a world-leading role in the development of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).
Recent legislation has set challenging carbon reduction targets for the UK and recommends that Britain’s energy needs are met by a diverse, sustainable and lowcarbon energy mix.
CCS forms part of the solution along with the expansion of renewable energy, investment in new nuclear and capping emissions from the power sector through the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
CCS is currently the only option for significantly cutting global emissions from fossil fuel power stations. The International Energy Agency suggests that these technologies could contribute up to 28% of global CO2 mitigation by 2050.
The European Council is aiming for all new fossil fuel power generation plants built after 2020 to be equipped with CCS technology, subject to the technology being technically and economically feasible.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change is running a competition to support a demonstration of the full chain of CCS technologies on a commercial scale. Peel and DONG Energy were successful in reaching the shortlist. RWE npower joined the team to provide additional expertise and opportunities for sharing knowledge and infrastructure. The partnership withdrew from the competition in October 2009.
In 2009, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband announced that any new power station must demonstrate at least 300 MW of net capacity or around 400 MW of gross output as a condition of any consent. He also insisted that every coal-fired power station would have to fit CCS technology on the whole plant within five years of 2020, subject to the technology being ready. In March 2010, The Scottish Government issued its Thermal Guidance requiring the installation of demonstration CCS facilities from start up of any new coal fired power station.
Last year’s budget also stated an intention to support up to four demonstration projects.
Ayrshire Power continues to seek UK and EU funding to support a demonstration plant.
Scottish Government Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Minister Jim Mather said in Parliament on 14 May 2009:
“Scotland is well placed to take a world-leading role in the development of carbon capture and storage technology.”
“CCS has the potential to reduce carbon emissions significantly from major emissions points, as well as to create significant employment and growth opportunities throughout Scotland.”