UK energy secretary Chris Huhne said today there would be no “back-sliding” in funding carbon capture and storage projects in Britain, despite the collapse of plans for a plant at Longannet.
Huhne yesterday announced that a deal could not be reached on the planned facility in Fife, which was the only site remaining in a government competition to secure funding worth à‚£1 billion ($1.5 billion) for CCS initiatives.
Today in parliament he was asked by the opposition Labour Party’s energy minister Tom Greatrex if the funding was still on the table and replied: “The Treasury will confirm that there is à‚£1 billion available to support carbon capture and storage and we look to do that in the most effective way possible so that we can ensure that the industry is rolled out, that we have a lead in that industry and that we are able to meet our strategic objectives with CCS available.”
He said the government was “attempting to proceed with this as quickly as we can” and added that he had “learned an awful lot from the negotiations and from the engineering studies at Longannet”.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond today said the Longannet decision showed a lack of courage and vision in Westminster.
He said abandoning the project “has serious implications for the long-term future of coal production in Scotland, as the renewal and upgrading of the site was to be part and parcel of the CCS investment”.