THE Scottish Government has provided £80m (US$109m) in investment for the Scottish Cluster carbon capture project to help accelerate Scotland’s plans for a just transition to net zero.
As part of its net zero strategy announced last October, the UK Government selected two CCUS clusters, HyNet and the East Coast Cluster, for £1bn of financial support. The Scottish Cluster was selected as a “reserve”, which was met by disappointment in the industry.
The Scottish Government has now provided £80m in funding for the Scottish Cluster from its Emerging Energy Technologies Fund. It is also proposing to work with the UK Government to support the Scottish Cluster and grant it “Track 1” status so that it is developed along with HyNet and the East Coast Cluster.
Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The UK Government’s decision not to award the Scottish Cluster clear and definitive Track-1 status is a serious mistake which shows a clear lack of ambition and leadership on climate change.
“Delaying or halting the deployment of the Scottish Cluster has serious consequences, including jeopardising the industrial decarbonisation of Scotland and our just transition to net zero, creating an un-level playing field across the UK, and endangering Scottish and UK-wide net zero targets.”
He added that the Scottish Government does not have the legislative and regulatory ability to fully support the Scottish Cluster, and urged the UK Government to provide certainty to the energy sector by supporting the cluster.
OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said: “In accelerating these carbon capture projects, the UK is laying a key part of the infrastructure for its net zero future. It is a crucial first step but scale is essential if the UK is to make itself carbon neutral by 2050.
“We look forward to Acorn and other carbon capture projects joining Hynet, and the East Coast cluster in ensuring we can generate sufficient energy to keep the country functioning, with homes heated and schools and hospitals powered, but in a way that helps us meet our climate goals and Paris Agreement commitments.”
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