The SNP has today called for the UK government to clarify its position on carbon capture and storage (CCS) after Tory Energy Minister Lord Bourne hinted that investment might be back on the table for Scotland.
Only two weeks after Chancellor George Osborne pulled the plug on developing the significant £1 billion clean energy project at Peterhead, the Conservative peer – a UK Government Minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change – has revealed he is working on a new plan to develop CCS.
Holyrood MP Stewart Stevenson (MSP for Banffshire and Buchan – which includes Peterhead) – said: “Just two weeks ago the Treasury leaked to the stock markets their decision to scrap £1 billion investment for CCS in Peterhead after George Osborne didn’t even have the backbone to announce this latest betrayal of Scotland’s energy in the House of Commons.
“And despite being told that the vital project had been killed off, along with the 600 jobs it would have created in the North East, a Tory minister has this week briefed that he’s dreaming up a new plans to pursue carbon capture technology.
“Why on earth the UK Government is going back to the drawing board when plans for Peterhead had reached such an advanced stage beggars belief.
“We’ve had rank hypocrisy from David Cameron posturing in Paris – extolling Britain’s climate change credentials, while his government is scrapping pioneering green energy technology back here in Scotland.
“Now we learn that an unelected Tory lord is working to revive a scheme that they ditched only two weeks ago. It is total disarray and utter nonsense from David Cameron’s government.”
A spokesman for DECC said: “The Minister has simply reasserted the rationale for not proceeding with the CCS competition funding and set out that we continue to work closely with industry.
“Our priority is to ensure that hardworking families and businesses have access to secure, affordable and clean energy supplies they can rely on. The Spending Review was a tight financial settlement and difficult decisions had to be made.”