We have a new website go to gov.scot

Scottish Government action on CCS

The Scottish Government supports CCS as a critical new technology that can assist Scotland, and other countries, to help meet significant carbon emissions reductions, as well as make a significant contribution to security of supply and promote economic growth opportunities.

Working with the UK

The UK Government's 2008 Energy Bill is intended to create a regulatory regime for the storage of carbon offshore. The Scottish Parliament has approved a Legislative Consent Motion to allow the UK Parliament to legislate on CCS for Scotland, providing a consistent framework across the UK.

As part of that, the Scottish Government is working with the UK Government to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding which will set out how we will work together to ensure a consistent approach across the UK and encourage the environmentally safe storage of carbon dioxide in the UK offshore area.

Implementation of the EU Directive on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide

We are currently working on the transposition of the EU Directive on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide (2009/31/EC). This involves laying Scottish Statutory Instruments, the first three of which have now been laid in the Scottish Parliament :-

The Energy Act 2008 (Storage of Carbon Dioxide) (Scotland) Regulations 2011


The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc) (Scotland) Regulations 2011


The Environmental Liability (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2011


These regulations flow from the provisions of the Energy Act 2008, which already designates the Scottish Ministers as the competent authority under the Directive for CO2 storage in Scotland.

CCS/CCR policy

On 17 June 2009, the UK government launched a consultation document - " A Framework for the Development of Clean Coal" - outlining proposals for a new regime for new coal-fired power stations including consenting requirements in relation to CCS. On 9 November 2009, the UK Government announced its response to the consultation.

The Scottish Government also announced a policy on its thermal guidance and carbon capture and storage on 9 November 2009 via an answer to a parliamentary question. This policy broadly aligns with the position set out by the UK Government on the same date, as follows:-

  • Any new coal plant will need to demonstrate CCS on a minimum of 300MW (net) from day one of operation.
  • Full CCS on further new builds from 2020 from day one.
  • Rolling review of technical and economic viability of CCS will take place with the aim of making a decision on retro-fitting by 2018 with the likelihood of existing plants being retro-fitted by 2025.
  • At some stage in future, if CCS not seen as technically and financially viable alternatives around the Emissions Trading Scheme and possibly an Emissions Performance Standard could be considered.

The Scottish Government's Thermal Guidance was then published on 10 March 2010.

The Scottish Government announced a policy of carbon capture readiness (the ability to have carbon capture technology fitted) on 17 June 2009 via an answer to a parliamentary question. This position applies to all thermal stations (except coal) over 300MW.

CCS demonstration projects

The UK Energy Bill received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010 and allowed for a levy on generation to be charged in order to fund four CCS demonstrator projects across the UK. However, the UK's proposed CCS Levy was dropped in the Chancellor's budget on 23 March 2011. UK Ministers have now concluded that the government's proposed electricity market reforms and plans to place a floor price on carbon emissions will provide energy companies with sufficient incentive to develop CCS plants without the need for a levy.

Following the collapse of the Longannet bid in October, the UK Government will carry forward £1 billion of funding for use in round two. The Scottish Government is extremely supportive of CCS demo projects in Scotland.

Reports and research

Our Carbon Capture and Storage - A Roadmap for Scotland was published in March 2010 and was developed in conjunction with key partners. It sets out a vision for CCS in Scotland and identifies the key actions as well as how some of the existing challenges and uncertainties around CCS might be dealt with. The basis of this roadmap is a presentation ' The Path to a Deployable CCS Technology, produced by the Steering Group of the Scottish Capture, Transport and Storage Study setting out the key dates and actions for the development of CCS. A CCS Roadmap - Progress Report was published in May 2011 which highlights the achievements around CCS over the past year.

A Scottish CO2 Storage Study " Opportunities for CO2 Storage around Scotland" was launched by the First Minister on 1 May 2009 and highlighted offshore potential of North Sea Scottish sector to store emissions for next 200 years.

A successor study, 'Progressing Scotland's CO2 storage opportunities', was published on 14 March 2011. The study shows the continued commitment of government, industry and academia coming together as a partnership to deliver new insights on the potential for carbon capture and storage projects. Key conclusions show that the Captain Sandstone alone could hold 15 to 100 years of CO2 output from Scotland's power industry, offering up the prospect of 13 000 new low carbon jobs being created in Scotland by 2020.

CCS Regulatory Framework

With the help and expertise of the relevant regulators, agencies and competent authorities including - DECC offshore licensing, SNH, Crown Estate, Marine Scotland, SEPA and the Health and Safety Executive the Scottish Government has been able to identify and list the approvals required for a large scale CCS project in Scotland. The framework aims to inform future development plans, help raise public awareness of CCS legislative and regulatory obligations, encourage early developer engagement with local communities and regulators and also enable joint working between regulators and planners to closely manage multiple consent applications being progressed simultaneously

The framework has been developed to identify and clarify the regulatory landscape in Scotland and is separated into 3 main activity categories - 1) CO2 Capture, 2) Transport, 3) Offshore Storage and Decommissioning. Details of the relevant legislative references, the lead authority and estimated processing time are also included alongside each permit listed. The permits are also colour coded into 3 key themes - planning, environment and safety.

The regulatory framework has been shared with Governments all over the world and used by the UK Government, European Commission, International Energy Agency and the Global CCS Institute to promote regulatory best practice and is a useful guide for countries to develop and test their regulatory provision to enable emerging CCS projects to be managed and processed efficiently. The framework remains a fluid document and is subject to review and update to reflect any further legislative or regulatory changes that may come on stream in the future.

The Scottish Government led an innovative exercise to test run the regulations for Carbon Capture and Storage projects over a series of workshops on 11 - 12 August 2010. CCS projects will by their very nature be large and complex involving many regulators and multiple consents. This exercise brought together all the key developers, consultants, environmentalists, planners, academics and regulators, to consider and assess the current regulatory framework and identify pinch-points as well as the opportunities for improvements in the various onshore and offshore licensing regimes. The output report on the exercise is based on delegate feedback, with the findings in this evolving area helping to streamline the regulatory framework for processing all existing and future CCS projects. Participants found it to be a helpful and informative exercise, with the Global Institute for Carbon Capture and Storage recognising it as 'an example for the world'.

The Global CCS Institute have funded the SCCS centre to produce a Carbon Capture and Storage Regulatory Toolkit based on the test exercise undertaken by the Scottish Government. This can be used by multiple country agencies to test their legislation and regulatory systems for CCS projects.

Presentations from the workshop:

Scottish Government - Section 36 Consents

Scottish Government - Pipeline Construction Authorisation

SEPA - PPC Regulations

HSE - Offshore Installations

National Grid - Onshore Pipelines

Shell - Offshore Pipeline

Shell - Offshore Storage

DECC - Offshore Pipeline

DECC - Offshore Storage

Scottish Power - Power Station Section 36 Consents