Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

That issue is hugely important. I do not want to strike a discordant note, but the decision on Peterhead was pretty disgraceful, in that investors were led to believe that there was support, but it was pulled from under them at the last minute.

I appreciate that members have not had an opportunity to look through our energy strategy in detail. In it, we cite the importance of CCS as a technology for demonstration in Scotland. We believe that near-term demonstration of small-scale projects, leading to medium and large-scale deployment of CCS, along with the development of CO2 utilisation—which potentially has an economic use in itself—will be critical for the cost-effective decarbonisation of heat, power and industry.

We regret strongly the fact that the UK Government withdrew all the funding for the £1 billion CCS competition. We will try to persuade it of the logic of carrying on with investment in CCS, because that is an important part of the future energy supply in Scotland. The development of CCS would protect Scottish businesses against future carbon price rises and secure economic benefit for the supply chain, to pick up Mr Leonard’s point. That knowledge and expertise could also be transferred to international markets, where there is growing interest in CCS, and it could allow Scotland to play a leading role in global decarbonisation if it is possible to do so.