Banff and Buchan MP, Eilidh Whiteford, has this morning called for an emergency statement following press speculation that the UK will not receive any funding for the first round of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects under the EU’s NER 300 funding scheme.
She claims failure by the Tory-led Westminster government to provide full financial details in their application for funding has resulted in no UK projects being given funding for the first stage of the scheme.
Commenting, Dr Whiteford, said: “These rumours are deeply worrying and, if true, would signal a clear lack of vision and commitment to CCS and renewable projects in Scotland.
“The UK government needs to clarify whether these rumours are true as a matter of urgency. If they have no substance then the government needs to say so.
“Until it does, its silence on the issue only deepens concerns about its commitment to the industry, causing uncertainty for investors and putting 1000s of future jobs at risk.
“Even if these rumours are false, the lack of communication by the Tories and their Lib-Dem allies on CCS investment gives out mixed messages to those interested in investing in major projects in Scotland.
“This is a huge concern, but it is stands in stark contrast to the clear message of the Scottish Government on CCS, as it does its record on renewable research and investment.
“This really is a tale of two governments. While the London government dithers, the Scottish Government is fully committed to fulfilling Scotland’s potential to be a world leader in CCS technology.
“We have already seen the benefit of this can-do attitude in the renewable sector, and, only this week we have had the creation of a further 750 jobs. London needs to clarify its position now, and fully commit itself to properly support the CCS industry in Scotland.”
A recent report highlighting the potential role of a Central North Sea C02 storage hub in enabling the successful development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the UK bolstered Peterhead’s bid to house the facility.
The Scottish Enterprise report, with input from industry partners, set out a number of possible scenarios for the future of CCS in the Central North Sea and the potential to develop infrastructure and networks to capture, transport and store CO2 from across Scotland, the UK and continental Europe.
With the UK Government currently evaluating submissions for its CCS Commercialisation Programme, this document sets out an affordable, deliverable route for CCS deployment with a diversity of options for long term CO2 storage.
It highlighted the potential for a Central North Sea Storage Hub to receive and store as much as 100 million tonnes of C02 a year by 2030 and 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 – equivalent to 25 per cent of total EU emissions in 2007 – if all opportunities are effectively exploited.
The publication also highlighted the potential for Peterhead Port as a key location for the shipment of captured CO2 from other parts of the UK and Europe, and onward transportation to the vast storage sites of the Central North Sea.