|Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at the SCCS Annual Conference, October 2014. Picture: Will Robb Photography|
An ambitious roll-out of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would generate a large number of jobs and create a market worth £15-35 billion by 2030 according to a joint report published by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).
The University of Aberdeen will today host a seminar to focus on the next steps to ensure that Scotland maximises opportunities highlighted in the report The economic benefits of Carbon Capture and Storage in the UK published last year. The event, chaired by Colin Parker, Chief Executive of the Aberdeen Harbour Board, will bring together representatives from across government, industry, academia and NGOs to set out the CCS prize in Scotland. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will open proceedings with a key note address. Speakers including representatives from Shell, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) and the Scottish TUC (STUC) will highlight how Scotland is well placed to reap the significant benefits of a newly emerging global CCS industry.
Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism said:
We welcome the CCSA and TUC report highlighting how CCS could accrue massive economic benefits as well as deliver substantial reductions in carbon emissions. In Scotland, we recognise CCS as a critical new technology for its potential to play a key role in helping Scotland to achieve its emissions reduction targets and the decarbonisation of our electricity generation sector and we firmly believe that the North Sea's vast CO₂ storage potential; coupled with our existing oil and gas capabilities, ready supply chain and existing infrastructure means that Scotland is in a strong position to be at the centre of CCS development in Europe.
Scottish Ministers are very supportive of the collaboration between Shell UK Limited and SSE to develop the world's first commercial-scale full-chain gas carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project at SSE's Peterhead Gas Power Station, however to secure a wider CCS industry, it is important that the UK Government not only commits to supporting both projects under the current CCS Commercialisation Programme but also encourages and incentivises a further phase of CCS projects, such as the Captain Clean Energy Project in Grangemouth.
The report contains a number of findings, including:
- 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.
Dr Luke Warren, Chief Executive of CCSA 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.
Dr David Vega-Maza, who represents the University of Aberdeen on the SCCS Directorate, said:
Aberdeen's offshore resources offer a perfect platform for CCS technologies. We welcome this report and look forward to combining the University's wide range of expertise with those of our partners to realise a low-carbon future.
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.
Dr Philippa Parmiter, SCCS Project Manager, said:
This event is about showcasing the value of a CCS industry to Scotland in economic terms and, as importantly, as a means of achieving crucial carbon targets. Carbon storage is not just a pipe dream. Our world-leading academic community is working closely with industry to help ensure that CCS becomes a commercial reality by the 2020s and beyond.
Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary of STUC, said:
The Peterhead CCS project is a major economic opportunity for Scotland to establish itself as a leader in this technology. We currently have a global advantage in establishing a world leading Scottish industry, securing thousands of regional jobs; but only if Government delivers the current CCS projects under its CCS Commercialisation Programme and keeps up this momentum with follow on projects.
Download the report The Economic Benefits of CCS in the UK and the longer study, A UK Vision for Carbon Capture and Storage
The Carbon Capture and Storage: an opportunity for Scotland seminar was organised by CCSA and the STUC with support from SCCS, Shell and Scottish Enterprise.