THE North East Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Alliance (NECCUS) has submitted a £1.23m bid to the UK Government to take plans to decarbonise large sections of Scotland’s industry a further step forward in the drive to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
The funding, which is part of the UK Government’s £350m green recovery fund, will enable NECCUS and 11 partner organisations drawn from industry and academia to draw up a plan detailing how Scotland can reach its target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2045.
The bid follows a successful roadmap design project, also funded by the UK Government via Innovate UK, which helped to define the geographic scope of the project and identify the important roadmap features for Scottish industry.
The roadmap will consider multiple carbon reducing options such as electrification, the integration of renewable energy, fuel switching to clean sources (such as hydrogen), capture of carbon emissions from industrial processes, and negative emissions opportunities (such as capturing carbon from biogenic energy sources).
The project will create an energy system model covering key industrial sites along the Scottish East Coast, from Lothian in the South to Aberdeenshire in the North.
In total, some 30 industrial sites have been identified which collectively emit around 80% of all the industrial emissions in Scotland. It is therefore anticipated that any net zero solutions developed here can provide infrastructure and blueprints for the whole of Scotland.
Mike Smith, NECCUS chief executive, said: “We are at a crucial stage now, having been awarded funding for the initial roadmap scoping work, we now have to show that it really can be done.
“We’ll work with the rich vein of existing decarbonisation projects in the region, and expertise from global Net Zero projects, on which many of the partner organisations are taking a lead role.
“Next year, we will be able to identify future actions Scotland can take to accelerate the green recovery, including identifying opportunities for inward investment and how to take advantage of low carbon infrastructure to provide a service for the rest of the UK and Europe.
“We will also develop UK leadership in decarbonisation technologies and the transition of existing world-class supply chains into new business areas.”
Sian Wilson, Crown Estate Scotland senior development manager, which supported the project in its initial phase said: “This roadmap will help develop the type of clean economic growth that will be needed for us to futureproof our economy and get Scotland to Net Zero by 2045.
“It is also a fantastic opportunity to develop the huge potential our marine resources have for CCS, renewable energy and hydrogen production, all of which are set to play a vital role in our energy transition.
“We’re lucky in Scotland to already have a strong energy skills workforce, and the progression of projects like this can help inform how we can sustain the thousands of energy jobs we currently have and adapt them to the needs of the future.”