Report calls for Scottish carbon capture cluster backing

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A NEW report has called on the UK Government to move "immediately" to give the green light to the Scottish carbon capture and storage cluster.

The Scottish Cluster was overlooked for two English schemes last year “despite Scotland’s significant supply chain and infrastructure advantages”.

The Energy Transition report, produced by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce alongside KPMG and ETZ, separately calls on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to back green freeport status for north east Scotland.

It also says a windfall tax will make the North Sea less attractive to investors, “placing jobs, tax revenues and our domestic energy security at risk, and also limit ability and appetite to invest in the low carbon research and development we so desperately need”.

READ MORE: Carbon capture pioneer raises more than £50m

It suggests the creation of a new Scottish offshore wind directorate to inject pace into the delivery of ScotWind through what is, at present, a complex, multi-agency delivery route.

Russell Borthwick, chamber chief executive, said: “Westminster needs to accelerate carbon capture at the scale this country will need to meet its carbon reduction targets. The Scottish Cluster including St Fergus must be backed. We also need the Scottish Government to back the north east’s bid for a green freeport.”

Martin Findlay, of KPMG UK in Aberdeen, said: “The oil and gas industry is in a strong position, with confidence high despite ongoing discussions around a possible windfall tax. Producers and companies throughout the supply chain remain committed to the transition but individually they must remain focused on the long-term objective.”

Maggie McGinlay, of Energy Transition Zone, said: “Whilst the Scottish and UK Governments have set out a wide range of welcome measures designed to support accelerated diversification toward new energies, there is still some uncertainty as to how this support can be accessed so this report is valuable in highlighting the need for greater clarity of vision and purpose from our policymakers in this regard.”

The report also reveals confidence has now rebounded from the lows of the pandemic. It shows that 84 per cent of companies in the sector believe their revenues will rise in the year ahead. It suggests that 71% of companies will grow core headcount in three years.

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