Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens' economy and energy spokesperson, today urged Deputy First Minister John Swinney to ramp up capital spending on low carbon infrastructure, in light of the UK Government's decision to pull the plug on the Carbon Capture and Storage competition.
Shell and SSE had proposed a CCS project at Peterhead. The Scottish Government, whose energy policy talks of thermal generation with CCS, has given £2.5million to a Seattle-based firm for research into a coal gasification plant with CCS at Grangemouth.
Capital spending available to Scottish ministers from the UK Treasury is set to rise by £1.9bn through to 2021, although the total funding available will still be lower than in 2010.
Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow, said:
"Carbon capture was always worth researching but should never have been an excuse to allow new fossil fuel plants to go ahead. It is clear that any energy policy relying on CCS is out of date and after four years of failed climate change targets we need bolder measures. Rather than hoping to get CCS revived Scottish ministers should seize the opportunity to plough new capital funds into low carbon infrastructure.
"Engineering, finance and construction experts have already made clear through the ‘Scotland’s Way Ahead’ report that such investment will help us create thousands of new jobs, making our economy more resilient. By making our housing stock energy efficient we can cut fuel poverty, and by investing in cycle networks we can improve public health."