28th January 2015

Scotland Could Become Carbon Capture and Storage Powerhouse of Europe

An ambitious roll-out of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology in Scotland would generate a large number of jobs and create a market worth £15-35bn by 2030, says the TUC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).

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Scotland Could Become Carbon Capture and Storage Powerhouse of Europe

A recent seminar at the University of Aberdeen focuses on the next steps to ensure that Scotland makes the most of opportunities highlighted in the report The Economic Benefits of CCS in the UK. Key findings from the report include:

CCS can play a vital role in helping the UK meet its statutory target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. It has been estimated that without CCS, the cost of meeting this target will rise by £30-40bn per year.
Inclusion of CCS in the mix of low-carbon technologies would result in a 15 per cent reduction in wholesale electricity prices – leading to an average cut in household bills of £82 a year.

Each new-build CCS power plant would generate between 1,000 and 2,500 jobs in construction, with a further 200-300 jobs in operation, maintenance and the associated supply chain.

CCS could help the UK to retain existing industries, such as coal and gas power generation, and support vital energy-intensive industries (such as chemicals, steel and cement manufacture) which employ 800,000 people directly and in supply chains.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Carbon capture storage technology offers a way to meet our environmental targets, while creating thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs and transforming regional economies.

“This is a great opportunity to re-invigorate our manufacturing sector and bring new research and development, design and construction jobs to areas like Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland. But without stronger government backing the UK risks losing its competitive advantage, and all the jobs and economic activity that CCS could bring.”

The North East of Scotland has been identified as one of the best places in Europe to develop CCS. The Shell and SSE Peterhead CCS project in Aberdeen promises to deliver a world first; a full-scale CCS project at a gas-fired power station. There are also many other CCS projects in Scotland which could be in operation by the end of the decade.

CCSA Chief Executive Dr Luke Warren said: “This report definitively shows that the successful deployment of CCS has wider benefits for the UK economy. Respected international and UK organisations agree that without CCS in the mix, costs of meeting climate change targets will rise significantly. We have gone further in this report to show that the cost savings from CCS have a real impact on the average UK household – increasing their disposable income and reducing the risk of fuel poverty.”

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