Scotland to be ‘at the heart’ of UK energy plans, UK Government says

Ministers said the plans could create opportunities for Scottish businesses.

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

Scotland will be “at the heart” of UK Government plans to power up Britain, Westminster’s net zero minister said as plans to boost UK energy independence were announced.

The UK Government said new jobs and investment are set to come to Scotland as it unveiled a strategy to scale up affordable, clean, homegrown power and build green industries in Britain.

On Thursday, it launched Track-2 of the capture usage and storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing process to identify the next two CCUS clusters that will contribute to its ambition to capture 20-30 megatonnes of CO2 per year across the economy by 2030.

It said that, at this stage, it considers the Acorn Transport and Storage System in Aberdeenshire one of the two best placed to deliver its objectives.

Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the plans will help long-term energy security (PA)

It comes after £20 billion for CCUS was announced in the spring budget.

The UK Government has set an ambition for 10GW of hydrogen production by 2030 and said Scotland will be central to those plans.

Four of the first 15 projects to be given a share of the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) to develop new low carbon hydrogen production plants are in Scotland, it was announced on Thursday.

UK energy security and net zero minister Graham Stuart said: “Scotland will be at the heart of our plans to power up Britain as we support its development of new homegrown technologies of the future.

“Today’s announcement will create opportunities for Scottish businesses to export their expertise around the world and set the standard for a clean, secure and prosperous future.”

Scotland’s winning NZHF projects are Statera, based in Kintore, which plans to develop a 3GW, grid-connected, electrolytic hydrogen project that aims to use excess wind power in Scotland to produce low-carbon, green hydrogen and supply it to the UK’s most carbon intensive industrial clusters through existing gas transmission pipelines.

Meanwhile, Octopus Energy’s Lanarkshire Green Hydrogen project plans to deploy 15MW of electrolysis directly connected to an onshore wind farm to produce more than 3.5 tonnes per day of green hydrogen.

The other winning projects are Falck Renewables, which plans to develop its Knockshinnoch Green Hydrogen Hub Project, and Getech, which aims to build a major green hydrogen hub in Inverness that will produce, store and dispense green hydrogen – upwards of 10 tonnes a day over time.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps has also launched a £160 million fund for projects to build the port infrastructure needed to support further floating offshore wind power.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Thanks to our unique geography and strong expertise in clean technology, the UK is well placed to create thriving new industries in carbon capture, hydrogen and floating offshore wind across the country.

“By investing in new ways to power Britain from Britain, we will not only strengthen our long-term energy security, but also deliver on our promise to grow the economy with well-paid jobs and opportunities for businesses to export their expertise around the world.”

Scotland Office minister John Lamont said Scotland’s green energy potential is “at the heart” of the UK Government’s plans to deliver energy security, drive investment and grow the economy by developing clean domestic power sources.

He added: “From the carbon capture sector, where we are progressing at pace and investing up to £20 billion to help decarbonise our industries, to offshore wind, funding for low-carbon hydrogen projects and making the Contracts for Difference round an annual event, Scotland is a key part of the UK’s net zero plans and helping to boost economic growth through green jobs.”

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