Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse is due to make a statement on the process today in Holyrood.
There are large areas of the sea-bed off the Fife coast under the Forth Estuary for which Cluff Natural Resources has exploration licences. The company has since called a halt to any preparatory work, including its prospective planning application.
Cluff said its plans would create hundreds of new jobs in Fife. See
Independent report forecasts Scots-led 12,000 coal-gas jobs bonanza and £13 billion UK economic boost
MSP Mark Ruskell, climate and energy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said: “Anything short of an outright ban on underground coal gasification will be deemed as an environmental failure of the government to stand up to pressures from the oil and gas industry and instead fully commit itself to a renewables future.
“We already know that UCG has caused groundwater contamination and produced toxic waste, and is becoming increasingly unpopular in Australia, South Africa and the US. The government of Queensland has sensibly banned the practice, stating that the environmental risks outweigh economic benefits.
“Now is the time to be investing in clean, renewable energy sources, not digging for more fossil fuels. It was reported that on one windy day this summer, wind turbines covered all of our electricity needs and we already know that Scotland is ‘the undisputed world leader’ in tidal energy. “