Two carbon capture and storage (CCS) power plant projects in Scotland have applied for European Union (EU) funding, their backers said.
According to Reuters, UK utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) wants funding for a CCS project at its gas fired power station in Peterhead, while Peel Energy has asked for EU funds to fit CCS to a planned coal and biomass fired power station at Hunterston.
The British government in November opened up competition for funding of CCS projects, which had been limited to coal plants, to gas plants, because they would need to be included for Britain to meet its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
Shell UK and oil services company Petrofac will provide the offshore transport and storage elements of the SSE project to capture climate-warming carbon from one 385 MW turbine at the plant and pump it into a depleted gas field in the North Sea operated by Shell.
Petrofac is also involved in Peel's Ayrshire power plant at Hunterston, along with Korea's Doosan Power Systems and US engineering company Fluor.
The SSE project could qualify for both EU and UK government funding aimed at encouraging investment in projects to trap emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants and bury them safely underground in what is widely seen as a vital technology for the fight against climate change.
"If long-term targets for reducing emissions are to be met, CCS technology must be applied as widely as possible. We therefore welcomed the government's decision to include the gas fired generation plant in its CCS demonstration programme," SSE CEO Ian Marchant said in a statement.
"However, the development of a commercial-scale CCS demonstration project presents significant challenges and will require appropriate levels of support from both the EU and UK government. Given the work already undertaken, the project can proceed at a pace at least equal to other CCS projects in Europe."