UK government strategy for net zero will see investment in Scotland

31 March 2023 | Muriel Cozier

‘On carbon capture and storage, the selection of successful projects moves the country on from ambition to delivery […]’

The UK government has set out its new Energy Security Plan which will see the development and deployment of green technologies in Scotland.

The plan follows on from the government’s commitment in the Spring Budget to provide £20 billion in funding for CCUS as well as supporting green jobs across the UK. The government said that this development would deliver a ‘radical shift in our energy system towards cleaner, more affordable energy sources to power more of Britain from Britain.’

The government is set to identify two CCUS clusters that will contribute to the UK’s plan to capture 20-30 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2030. ‘At this stage, we consider the Acorn Transport and Storage System in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, one of the two best placed to deliver our objectives,’ the government said in a statement.

Scotland will also be home to four of fifteen projects receiving a share of the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund to develop low-carbon hydrogen production facilities. The government has a target of 10GW of hydrogen production by 2030. Along with CCUS and hydrogen, the Energy Security Plan includes projects for offshore wind in Scotland.

The news of investment in Scotland came as the government released its Net Zero Growth Plan, which has a focus on the storage of carbon dioxide under the North Sea. However, there are concerns that this plan will not allow the UK to reach its 2050 net zero targets.

Commenting on the Net Zero Growth Plan Sir Peter Bruce, Vice President of the Royal Society commented: ‘While it is promising that the Net Zero Growth Plan includes a commitment to develop a net-zero technology roadmap, the government fails to grasp the urgency of having this in place by 2023 as recommended by Chris Skidmore MP.’

Meanwhile Tom Thackray, CBI Director of Decarbonisation said: ‘On carbon capture and storage, the selection of successful projects moves the country on from ambition to delivery. While that undoubtedly represents significant progress, there are missed opportunities which urgently need to be addressed in order to hit the government’s own carbon capture targets and capitalise on this massive economic opportunity for the UK.’

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