Sep 10, 2020

Scotland reveals green investment portfolio plans

Dan Weatherley
3 min
Wind Turbine
Scotland’s government has invited private investors to support a variation of ‘green’ projects with a total value of over £1bn...

A total of ten projects have been unveiled for Scotland, as part of the nation’s new green investment plan. The schemes vary from various low-carbon solutions to eco-friendly and recycling schemes. 

Some of the largest schemes include a £250mn hydrogen infrastructure programme in one of Scotland’s largest settlements, Aberdeen. In addition, the nation has made plans for a £200mn green business park, which will be the first of its kind in the nation.

A low-carbon renewable energy park is also included in the portfolio in addition to a £3mn plastics recycling facility, which is to be located in Perthshire. 

New infrastructure for electric-vehicle charging is also included in the plans, with a company called Forev focused on the development and maintenance of a number of public charge-points. This will further encourage the nation’s motorists and visitors to switch to greener transport alternatives.

The plan is set to bring Scotland closer to its goal of becoming a net-zero nation by 2045. In addition to this £1.16bn scheme, a total of £3bn-worth of projects are in the pipeline for the nation, awaiting green finance investment.

The plans are set to benefit Scotland’s construction sector.

Fiona Hyslop, Economy Secretary, explained: “Worth around £300 trillion globally, we know that the market for green finance is burgeoning and Scotland's natural assets and reputation for innovation make it a highly attractive place for that investment.”

“We know investors need credible projects that reduce emissions to match their own green ambitions. By assessing these projects before they go to market, the Green Investment Portfolio gives global investors the confidence they need to back projects in Scotland.

She then went on to say: “The range of opportunities within this portfolio will expand over time to include £3 billion of projects ready for green finance investment, covering sectors from environmentally sustainable commercial real estate to low emission transportation and green energy.”

“Working in partnership with business, we are committed to ensuring that economic growth promotes happiness and improves the opportunities, life chances, and wellbeing of every citizen in our country.”

Additional investments are also planned including a £100mn fund for green jobs and a further £60mn for the decarbonisation of the industrial and manufacturing sectors within the nation. 

David Stirling, Director of Mossend International Railfreight Park operator Peter D Stirling Ltd, said: “We are fully supportive of the Scottish Government’s target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 and indeed are contributing to this by providing Scotland’s largest zero-carbon, multi-modal rail freight park. The Green Investment Portfolio is a valuable tool to help us reach out to global investors.”

“With future plans including Scotland’s first 775-metre electric rail terminal, we hope to benefit many local businesses as well as those based across Europe and beyond.”

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Jul 29, 2021

Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030

Energy
technology
CCUS
Netzero
Dominic Ellis
4 min
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades says the UK's National Infrastructure Commission

Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission

Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.

The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.

The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture. 

It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.  

The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020. 

Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.

The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.

While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.

Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse. 

"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.

“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.” 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets. 

Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.  

Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."

McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:

  • Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
  • Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
  • Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
  • Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
  • The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere

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