Scottish Power expected to pull out of government-promoted scheme to build a £1bn prototype CCS plant at Longannet
A £1bn flagship government project for fighting climate change – the construction of a prototype carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Longannet in Scotland – is on the verge of collapse, it emerged on Thursday.
Talks between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) and Scottish Power have run into deep trouble and the electricity supplier is expected to pull the plug on the government-promoted scheme, which hoped to bury carbon emissions from the coal power station in the North Sea.
The potential demise of the scheme comes amid growing fears among renewable power enthusiasts that David Cameron and George Osborne want to scale back the "green" agenda on the grounds that low-carbon energy schemes such as CCS and offshore wind cost too much at a time of austerity. Osborne told the Conservative party conference in Manchester that if he had his way the UK would cut "carbon emissions no slower but also no faster than our fellow countries in Europe".
Scottish Power, and its partners Shell and the National Grid, have just completed a detailed study of the CCS scheme and have deep concerns about its commercial viability without heavier public backing.
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