Elaine Maslin, 23rd May 2012
Research into how carbon captured from power stations could be used to increase oil recovery from the North Sea is expected to be given a £200,0000 boost today.
First Minister Alex Salmond is thought likely to announce the funding, which will be backed by a commercial partner, 2Co Energy, in his opening speech at the All-Energy exhibition and conference in Aberdeen.
The aim is to create a new centre of expertise, in Edinburgh, for North Sea enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using CO2.
Working with Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities, it is hoped the new facility will help to develop a better understanding of EOR technology and how carbon emissions captured from power plants and industry could be used commercially.
The central North Sea has been seen as a potential location for storage of captured carbon emissions and the Scottish Government has said it could become responsible for licensing up to 50% of all of Europe’s offshore geological storage.
Mr Salmond is also expected to announce a Smart Grid Sector Strategy it is hoped will create up to 12,000 jobs by 2020.
Smart grids aim to accommodate the changing patterns of energy demand and supply created by new markets in often intermittent renewable-energy power generation.
The government aims to have all of Scotland’s electricity demand generated from renewables by 2020.
Smart grids are seen as an important part of this green-energy drive and Mr Salmond is expected to highlight the opportunities available for Scottish businesses and research institutions in his speech.
According to Scottish Enterprise (SE), the UK market for energy management products and services will be worth around £1.5billion by 2020.
SE says Scotland already has world-class research in smart grids, the subject of a new zone at the All-Energy show this year, and related technologies.
Pilot projects already under way include Shetland’s Nines project, where the aim is to manage the distribution network more effectively through measures including installing smart storage heaters in 1,000 homes.