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New research highlights job security potential of Carbon Capture and Storage

New research highlights the potential of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to help sustain jobs and build supply chain, helping the ‘just transition’ to a low carbon economy.

The report produced by the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde examines some of the potential economic opportunities for Scotland in the further development of CCS.

CCS is a process which captures large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes, then transports and stores the CO2 in suitable rock formations under the seabed.

The research represents a step towards understanding how the industry could become an increasingly valuable part of Scotland’s drive of growing the blue economy. Crown Estate Scotland plays a key part in future development of CCS as it manages leasing rights to carbon and gas storage out to 200 nautical miles.

This new report highlights the potential for CCS to play an important role in helping to sustain the approximately 44,000 direct and indirect Scottish jobs currently linked to oil and gas and other related industrial sectors.  It also suggests a new approach to measuring societal value of the CCS sector, and that value to the Scottish economy could be delivered via developing carbon transport and storage infrastructure and service delivery. 

Large-scale development of CCS could:

  • Help reduce emissions from industrial sectors that are hard to decarbonise (protecting and sustaining the supply chain);
  • Create opportunities for a skilled oil and gas and support industry workforce to transition to work in low carbon infrastructure; and
  • Offer major industries such as oil and gas the ability to decarbonise and respond to the climate change ambitions set out by The Scottish Government.

Colin Palmer, Head of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “This work helps us to understand the potential economic and environmental value to Scotland of large-scale CCS. In our role as enabler, we want to work with the sector in the coming years to make the most of Scotland’s natural assets – workers and the climate will both benefit.”

Professor Karen Turner, Director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our research shows that CCS could benefit jobs in a wide range of sectors across the Scottish economy, not just in the oil and gas industry. It focuses attention on the need to consider the value that a CCS industry in Scotland could sustain and grow through CO2 transport and storage activity during the low carbon transition. We need to shift away from only focussing on questions of technology and costs.”

The nature of the geology deep below the Central North Sea means Scotland has the potential to host around 75% of the UK’s capacity of CO2 emissions, helping meet both UK and Scottish climate change targets. Last year Crown Estate Scotland signed its first ever lease agreement for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage, Acorn CCS, to be based at the St Fergus Gas Terminal on the Aberdeenshire coast.  

A full report on the research can be found here.



Notes to Editors:

About Crown Estate Scotland

Crown Estate Scotland (interim management) manages land and property on behalf of Scottish Ministers. It works with people, businesses and organisations to ensure that the assets are managed in a sustainable way that creates prosperity for the Scotland and its communities. The organisation generates revenue profit which is passed to the Scottish Government.

Crown Estate Scotland manages:

  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties and forestry on four rural estates (Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirth and Whitehill)
  • Rights to fish wild salmon and sea trout in in river and coastal areas
  • Rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver across most of Scotland
  • Just under half the foreshore around Scotland including 5,800 moorings and some ports and harbours
  • Leasing of virtually all seabed out to 12 nautical miles covering some 750 fish farming sites and agreements with cables & pipeline operators
  • The rights to offshore renewable energy and gas and carbon dioxide storage out to 200 nautical miles