The pre-Budget report revealed that the UK Government would double the commitment to carbon capture and storage (CCS) and support four projects phased from 2014-18.
Jim Fitzgerald, assistant director of the energy and environmental infrastructure advisory at Ernst and Young, said the chancellor’s statement was a welcome development in the right direction for CCS, a critically important technology for reducing carbon emissions in future.
He added: “However, the doubling of committed funding from £90million in the 2009 Budget report to £180million falls far short of amounts committed by others.”
Mr Fitzgerald said the commitment to finance four CCS projects through a previously announced consumer levy may result in less funding per project.
He added: “If the UK Government wants to achieve its ambition of leading the world in CCS, they will need to exceed the pace and ambition of the CCS technology programmes in other countries.”
It emerged last month that Scotland was likely to win the battle for the UK’s first clean coal power station.
Government sources signalled that Longannet, in Fife, was the front-runner, promising huge potential for jobs and giving Scotland a chance to become a world leader in the carbon capture industry.
It was also announced yesterday that a temporary increase in renewables obligation certificates (TOCs) for offshore wind would be amended so that all projects accredited between April 2010 and March 2014 would qualify for two ROCs, supporting at least an additional £400million of investment.