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Scottish Government pledges £5 million for carbon capture and utilisation fund

Energy Secretary Michael Matheson (Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA)
Energy Secretary Michael Matheson (Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA)

Energy Secretary Michael Matheson has said the launch of a new fund could help put Scotland at the forefront of the new “opportunities that will result from a future with carbon capture”.

While ministers in Holyrood have attacked the UK Government over its failure to invest in carbon capture projects in Scotland, £5 million of public cash will be invested in the CO2 Utilisation Challenge Fund.

Match funding from industry means that some £10 million could go into the project over its two-year lifetime.

The fund has been set up to help businesses and organisations develop and commercialise technology to harness and convert CO2 – the biggest contributor to climate change emissions – and then use it to produce other products, such as synthetic fuels or proteins for use in aquaculture.

It comes after the Acorn carbon capture project in Aberdeenshire missed out on the first round of funding from the UK Government.

Mr Matheson said in order for environmental targets to be met “we must develop and grow innovative technologies like carbon capture and utilisation, alongside carbon capture and storage”.

The Energy Secretary added: “Promising early work around potential uses for captured CO2 shows that CO2 utilisation has real potential to help develop a circular economy while providing opportunities for our workforces and economic benefits for a range of different sectors.

“Whilst the UK Government have so far failed to sufficiently back carbon capture and storage in Scotland, the launch of this £5 million fund underlines our commitment to making sure Scotland is at the forefront of new industrial opportunities that will result from a future with carbon capture, utilisation and storage deployment.”

(PA Graphics)

The new fund will be administered by Scottish Enterprise, whose head of low carbon transition Andy McDonald said it would “help ensure we remain at the forefront of the global effort to tackle climate change by supporting innovative Scottish companies with the ambition, capability and expertise to utilise CO2 and transform it into products with commercial value”.

He added: “Carbon utilisation technology has wide-reaching benefits for both Scotland’s low carbon economy and the environment.

“This fund will boost this dynamic and emerging sector by facilitating the creation of more high-value jobs while also helping Scotland reach its net zero emissions target.”

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