SNP MEP Welcomes EU Support For Carbon Capture

24 October 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed plans for EU-wide research and development investment in clean and sustainable energy technologies and claimed this investment may throw an EU lifeline to the stalled Peterhead Carbon Capture Project.

The report due to be passed today calls on the European Commission to issue political guidelines as soon as possible in order to ensure greater political and legal certainty for the development and implementation of Carbon Capture technology.

MEPs were debating a report by the Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee on Conventional energy sources and energy technology.

With the Commission set to publish a Strategic Energy Technology Plan as well as a proposal for a legislative framework on carbon captureshortly, greater EU support in this area can only but benefit Scotland's energy companies and Universities who are at the forefront of clean carbon developments in Europe.

Such support could also help revive the carbon capture and storageproject at the Peterhead power station, which was one of the most advanced of any in the EU and offered a real opportunity for not just Scotland and the UK but also the EU to lead the world in advancing andusing this technology by 2010.

Speaking during the debate in Strasbourg Mr Smith said:

"In Europe, we have a vast renewable energy potential. In Scotland, we know that better than most. We must make sure that we do research intoother, non-nuclear sources of power and research into ways to make them better.

"I am delighted to hear the Commission is going to lay down political guidelines for the promotion of research into carbon captureand storage. It is important because, left to their own devices, the Member States will not come up with it.

"In Scotland, we had at Peterhead a world-leading proposal for ademonstrator site. Because of political uncertainty caused entirely by the London Government not making it a priority, the project is going ahead - but it is going ahead in California.

"Europe can have a lead in this; we can be globally significant in the research potential that we have, but we must have real action".