Summary of the Report on Co2 Capture and Storage in Scotland by SCCS

This entry was posted by Saturday, 19 March, 2011
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Carbon capture, transport and storage (CCS) is a rapidly growing industry that offers environmental benefits and substantial business, employment and research opportunities for Scotland and the UK. In 2009, the report Opportunities for Co2 Storage around Scotland identified the size of these opportunities and key initiatives that need to be acted upon to move CCS forward in Scotland.  Government, industry and stakeholder organizations joined with Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) researchers in Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage study to progress some of the actions required to inform the deployment of the entire CCS chain in Scotland and the UK.

The study presents new insights on:

  • Path to deployable CCS technologies: This was explored and mapped out by the study members in July 2009. This path presents their view of the timescales and activities required to implement CCS in Scotland which, adopted together with other low-carbon technologies, will contribute to the national target of 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Refining Scotland’s Co2 storage assets and assessing environmental impact: Scotland’s large North Sea saline aquifiers appear to offer substantially greater total capacity for long – term storage. To refine the estimated Co2 storage capacity a more detailed evaluation was undertaken of one of the ten saline aquifier sandstones shortlisted in 2009 report. Three areas of North Sea were examined as potentially suitable for further investigation; the Moray Firth, the Central North Sea and the Forth Approaches Basin.
  • Skills and Capacity Building: Prospective employment in Scotland and the UK, based on International energy projections of CCS projects worldwide, was presented to the Scottish Government and educators in September 2010 to inform future training needs.
  • Public Communication and Engagement for CCS Projects in Scotland: To inform developers of future CCS projects in Scotland key points were drawn from a review of previous practice on public engagement worldwide. The study provides tools for the design of an engagement strategy at the level of individual CCS projects.

The Key Conclusions of the Study are:

  • Scotland’s potential for a North Sea Carbon Storage industry is endorsed.
  • The European significance of Scotland’s Co2 storage resource, estimated in a basin – wide assessment in 2009, is supported by the more detailed evaluation of the Captain Sandstone, which has shown its estimated storage capacity is at least as large as previously calculated.
  • The Captain Sandstone alone could provide a feasible secure store able to hold 15 to 100 years of Co2 output from Scotland’s existing industrial point sources.
  • Offshore Carbon Storage can be implemented in accordance with existing environmental legislation.
  • CCS could create 13,000 jobs in Scotland by 2020, and increase in the following years, with a demand for a wide range of professional and craft skills.
  • The UK plc share of the worldwide CCS business is potentially worth more than £10 billion per year from around 2025, with the added value in the UK worth between £5 billion and £9.5 billion per year.
  • There are the best practice approaches to engaging the public and the study provides the tools to design and implement an effective engagement strategy. Public support will be essential if the environmental and economic benefits of CCS are to be realized.

Next steps along the path to CCS in Scotland:

Concerted and co-ordinated activities by Government, regulators, industry and academia in the two years since publication of the Opportunities for Co2 Storage around Scotland Report have contributed to the establishment and growth of a CCS industry in Scotland and the UK.

  • Further assessment and appraisal of the Captain Sandstone as a Co2 store is justified by the encouraging research results from this study.
  • The integrity of the rocks that seal the Captain Sandstone store must be demonstrated to the full satisfaction of regulators for a site to obtain a Co2 storage permit.
  • To fully realize the European – scale storage potential outlined in the opportunities for Co2 storage around Scotland report, additional North Sea Sandstones should be investigated alongside further detailed evaluation of the Captain Sandstone.
  • Further analysis of skills needs in the CCS industry is required and a review with government and its training agencies of actions is needed to identify additional skills requirements to maximize the economic benefit to Scotland and the UK.
  • The tools provided in this study should be used to design and implement a strategy for early public engagement and communication of CCS with the public and stakeholders in Scotland.

Scotland is committed in reducing 80% greenhouse gas emission by 2050. Scotland, UK and European Union ambitions are for CCS to be available as a low carbon deployment option for power generation and major industrial plants by 2020, via a programme of commercial – scale demonstration projects.

Fossil fuel electricity generation accounts for 41% of Scotland’s Co2 emissions. Scottish Government and Industry joined with SCCS researchers to assess options for CCS in Scotland in 2008. The Opportunities for Co2 storage around Scotland report was published in May 2009. It identified the annual Co2 output from Scotland’s three largest power stations and sites offshore Scotland with the potential for geological storage of Co2. Options for a network to transport Co2 from industrial sources to offshore stores, the economics, business risks, models and funding options were reviewed in this report.

In July 2009, consortium members defined a path to deployable CCS technologies that could be used in clarifying objectives for the deployment of CCS in Scotland. In August 2009 a second consortium of Scottish Government, industry and SCCS researchers established the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage Development study to progress and map out further steps towards the deployment of CCS in Scotland.

In the report, the potential Co2 storage capacity of Scotland’s North Sea sandstones was assessed on a basin wide-scale and presented as a range of values. Refining Scotland’s Co2 storage assets and assessing environmental impact moves to a site characterization appraisal of one sandstone using data and methods familiar to oil and gas exploration and follows internationally recognized CCS best practice. The assessment of skills and capacity building needed for the future CCS industry and power association. The findings were presented to the Scottish Government and educators in September 2010 to inform future training needs.

Study investigations were selected for the benefit of overall implementation of CCS industry in Scotland and they were all undertaken within the study budget of £290,000 commenced August 2009 and completed by December 2010.

Study members considered some essential requirements for CCS to be available as a low carbon deployment option in Scotland and four of these requirements were selected for detailed consideration:

  • Deliver commercial scale CCS demonstration projects by 2015.
  • Prove the large – scale Co2 storage capacity in North Sea sandstones by 2020.
  • Provide the underpinning research and development by and for UK economic development.
  • Provide both the skills and staff members needed for the future CCS industry.

Work resulting from, or in parallel with this study:

  • The path to deployable CCS technologies was adopted by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and informed their document Carbon Capture and Storage – a Roadmap for Scotland in March 2010.
  • Scottish Government undertook a CCS regulatory test exercise in August 2010 to ensure an appropriate consenting and regulatory framework for CCS.
  • SCCS researchers were actively involved in CASSEM (Co2 Aquifier Storage Site Evaluation and Monitoring).

Scotland and UK initiatives and opportunities:

  • Post-combustion Co2 capture pilot plant has been tested.
  • Support from the UK government for the implementation of CCS has extended from a single demonstrator to four projects.
  • Out of nine bids in UK, three bids have been made for Scotland.
  • Initial proposals for funding were included in Government’s Electricity Market Reform Consultation Document, which closed for consultation in March 2011.

To read details of Carbon Capture and Storage in Scotland:


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse Gas

Carbon Sequestration

Fossil Fuels





3 Responses to “Summary of the Report on Co2 Capture and Storage in Scotland by SCCS”

  1. Andre

    The rocks deep beneath the Moray Firth could store decades’ worth of carbon dioxide from Scotland’s power stations, a report reveals today.

    This emerging carbon capture and storage industry could create thousands of new jobs within the next few years, and bring many economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

    The research calculates that rock buried more than half a mile beneath the Moray Firth and known as ‘the Captain Sandstone’ could store at least 15 years’ worth of CO2, and more likely as much as a century’s worth.

    Maxine Akhurst from the British Geological Survey is the project leader for the research, carried out by Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS).

  2. Andre

    Scotland could lead the world in carbon capture and storage (CCS), with the potential to store a hundred years’ worth of CO2 under the Moray Firth, according to a report.
    The research by Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) builds on previous work that highlighted the potential of the North Sea as one of the largest capacity potential storage sites in Europe.
    Closer to home, the Captain Sandstone under the Moray Firth north west of Inverness in the north of Scotland could represent a significant storage option for CO2 generated by the region’s power stations.
    “[The] research cements Scotland’s position as the number one location for CCS technology development and deployment in the world,” said Energy Minister Jim Mather on publication of the report.

  3. Eugene

    Scottish Power risks being overtaken by US companies in the race to build the first full-scale demonstration of carbon-capture and storage (CCS) at Longannet in Fife, experts have warned.

    They blame Government delays for the threatened loss of prestige and commercial opportunities that would accompany a global first in this technology.

    Dr Vivian Scott and Dr Stuart Gilfillan, researchers at the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage at Edinburgh University, told the Sunday Herald that the target to have a 400MW demonstrator operational by 2014, covering one-sixth of the power station, would now be “very tight”.

    They said the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had not kept up with the timetable laid down as part of the £1 billion CCS development competition in which Scottish Power is the remaining participant.

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