£20m CCS investment for Scottish businesses

A £20m fund for research and development into carbon capture and storage (CCS) was announced yesterday by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey.

During his speech at the Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh, Davey announced the formation of a steering group which will address issues that are slowing the speed of marine and wind development on the Scottish Islands.

A public-private partnership between global industries including BP and Rolls-Royce and the UK Government – The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) – will provide the funding. £10m will come from the government and the remaining £10m will come from the group of private businesses.

The investment will see the development of a 5MW carbon capture demonstration plant capable of capturing up to 95% of carbon dioxide emissions that will be designed, built and tested by 2016.

The technology will be designed for new-build or to retrofit Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power stations.

Davey said: “CCS is a key part of our aim to reduce carbon emissions from gas and coal in our future energy mix.

“The UK is a leading nation in developing this new technology and the project announced today is another important step to our goal of a cost competitive CCS industry.

“CCS is a prime opportunity for UK manufacturing and I am delighted to see Scottish based companies like Howden and Doosan Power Systems, as well as MAST Carbon based in Basingstoke, seizing the opportunity to create jobs for skilled workers and growth for the economy.”

The new steering group will look at lowering charges associated with renewable energy in the Scottish islands as well as speeding up more renewable generation.

Davey said: “The Scottish Islands are blessed with tremendous tidal, wind and wave renewable resources and we should look to fully utilise this huge potential where we can.

“I recognise there are concerns about the speed of progress of renewable projects on the Islands.

“This study will assess the commercial viability of renewable projects on the Scottish Islands and the overall value for money these projects provide for the UK.”

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the news.

“I am delighted that Mr Davey and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have agreed to work with us to find a solution to the problem of high transmission charging for the Scottish Islands.

“DECC will work jointly with Scottish Government, HIE and the Island Councils in a cross-Government action group to identify and assess options for addressing or mitigating the impact of the charges faced by renewable energy generators in the Scottish Islands,” he said.

Conor McGlone

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