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Plan for three carbon capture sites

Three Scottish carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects could be built in Scotland as a demonstration which it is hoped will lead to wider use of the green technology.

Scottish Enterprise outlined its proposals for coastal areas Longannet, Peterhead and Hunterston at the low-carbon energy conference All Energy.

It said the facilities would test technology and demonstrate the potential of storing CO2 deep under the sea, from technical and commercial points of view.

The enterprise body said it could lead to more CCS being used in power plants that burn fossil fuels, potentially producing a big cut in Scotland’s emissions.

The proposed developments could get money from the EU under the New Entrants’ Reserve scheme, which was set up to back low-carbon demonstration projects.

Scottish Enterprise’s senior director of energy and low-carbon technologies Adrian Gillespie said: “We want to see a number of CCS demonstration projects developed in Scotland and are working with our partners in industry, in the UK government and in Europe to help make that happen.

“Scotland stands well placed to offer demonstration opportunities in coal, gas, new build and retrofitting to existing stations.”

The proposals were outlined in a study that also said that as the three schemes were being built, the Scottish economy would see £2.75 billion of gross value added, with £535 million a year once they were operational.

It said the schemes would directly or indirectly provide as many as 4,600 jobs during the construction phase, set to last until 2020, and there would be more than 450 jobs once they were up and running.

Scottish Enterprise said the 150,000 people working in the offshore oil and gas industry would have their jobs safeguarded if Scotland adopted CCS early.

It has been estimated in separate research that CCS could support up to 13,000 new jobs by 2025, including exporting Scottish-based skills and technology across the world.