CCS is a process that captures large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes, then transports and stores the CO2 in suitable rock formations under the seabed.
Crown Estate Scotland has a key role in future development of CCS as it manages leasing rights to carbon and gas storage out to 200 nautical miles.
New research produced by the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde examines some of the potential economic opportunities for Scotland in the further development of CCS.
The new report says that CCS has the potential to play an important role in helping to sustain the approximately 44,000 direct and indirect Scottish jobs currently linked to oil and gas and other related industrial sectors. It also suggests a new approach to measuring societal value of the CCS sector, and that value to the Scottish economy could be delivered via developing carbon transport and storage infrastructure and service delivery.
Colin Palmer, head of marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This work helps us to understand the potential economic and environmental value to Scotland of large-scale CCS. In our role as enabler, we want to work with the sector in the coming years to make the most of Scotland’s natural assets – workers and the climate will both benefit.”
Professor Karen Turner, director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our research shows that CCS could benefit jobs in a wide range of sectors across the Scottish economy, not just in the oil and gas industry. It focuses attention on the need to consider the value that a CCS industry in Scotland could sustain and grow through CO2 transport and storage activity during the low carbon transition. We need to shift away from only focussing on questions of technology and costs.”
The nature of the geology deep below the Central North Sea means Scotland has the potential to host around 75% of the UK’s capacity of CO2 emissions, helping meet both UK and Scottish climate change targets. Last year Crown Estate Scotland signed its first ever lease agreement for carbon dioxide storage, Acorn CCS, to be based at the St Fergus Gas Terminal on the Aberdeenshire coast.