The UK government will have to “front up” to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of its industrial strategy, the Scottish Government has said.
Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the UK government’s decision had abandoned plans to support the development of a £1billion CCS project at Peterhead was “disgraceful” and that the Scottish Government would be calling for Westminster support next week when it unveils its energy strategy.
He said CCS was an “important part of our proposals”.
He said: “We think the decision that was made around Peterhead was a disgraceful decision, not least because the industry had been led to believe strongly there was going to be UK government support then had it pulled from under it.
“More importantly, it is actually an important opportunity not just for Scotland but the rest of the GB grid to have access to CCS and will also help utilise infrastructure in the North Sea, and potentially provide a route by which thermal generation can continue to be used in a sustainable, low-carbon way and decarbonising the electricity generation sector.
“At some point UK government will have to front up with the investment to make that happen.”
Mr Wheelhouse’s intervention came after it emerged that the UK Government had spent £100million of tax-payer’s cash to develop the CCS scheme at Peterhead before it was controversially scrapped.
Former Chancellor George Osborne ditched the £1billion competition – which could have brought an estimated 600 jobs to the area – at the eleventh hour in 2015.
The UK’s 17th energy minister in 19 years, Jesse Norman, will launch the government’s “modern industrial strategy” in Glasgow on Monday.