By a Newsnet reporter
The SNP has called on the UK coalition to reverse its decision to withdraw funding from the Longannet Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) project.
At the party conference in Inverness delegates voted unanimously for the UK government to change its mind on the ground breaking scheme.

The UK Government’s decision to torpedo development of a Carbon Capture and Storage plant at Longannet has met with fury in Scotland with First Minister Alex Salmond calling it “sabotage”.

The project at Scottish Power’s 2400 MW coal-fired power station in Fife had been the last one standing in the UK government’s long-running £1 billion CCS demonstration programme competition.

Dunfermline SNP MSP Bill Walker, who represents Longannet, said:

“For the second time the UK Government are sabotaging the development of a carbon capture plant  in Scotland – first Peterhead, now Longannet - and they must reverse this Westminster betrayal.

“There is massive potential for Carbon Capture and Storage in Scotland, and we could and should be the hub for exporting this vital technology – Westminster must get its act together to save this ground breaking project before it is too late.

The Nationalist MSP insisted that the decision could damage one of Scotland’s developing industries where, he said, we currently have a competitive edge.  Mr Walker claimed that the decision could also prove to be devastating to the area’s local coal industry, and added:

“The workforce at Longannet have worked tirelessly on this ground breaking opportunity that would help tackle climate change and deliver jobs and growth in the process.

"Allowing this project to fall would be a scandalous betrayal of the industry by the Liberal Democrats and their Tory masters.”

SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP added:

“When the last Labour government torpedoed the Peterhead project in 2007 the Tories branded it a ‘disaster’ and ‘stain on the government’s reputation’ – but these same critics have now repeated this disgraceful decision.

“The UK Government has repeatedly cited CCS technology as central to the UK’s green industrial future. To throw away the only feasible CCS project is short sighted and will imperil a potentially huge new industry in Scotland and the long term use of the North Sea’s infrastructure for carbon storage.

“With years of experience in the oil and gas, Scotland has the competitive edge in terms of skills and resources to take new energy technology forward but the Westminster Government is holding us back. We’re in the absurd situation of pumping billions of pounds worth of revenue in the UK Treasury while UK ministers refuse to invest in keystone projects like Longannet.

"All of this underlines yet again why Scotland must have the powers of a normal nation to invest in our economic priorities to secure jobs and the long term future of our core industries instead of watching them being squandered.”

On Thursday, Professor Stuart Haszeldine, an expert in the field of Carbon Storage claimed that the Longannet project was technically sound.  The academic rubbished Lib Dem Minister Chris Huhne’s claim that the proposed pipeline was too long.

Professor Haszeldine also questioned the UK government’s claim that it was willing to put £1 billion into the Longannet project saying that official documents indicated that the true figure was between £600 and £700 million.


# Robabody 2011-10-22 08:23
No,no son we can't do that. The money is earmarked for other more important stuff, such as recovering the millennium dome.
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-22 09:33
Aye, right enough, the Tent on the Thames must be about due for a refurbishment.
ps Did anyone ever find a use for it other than the big plastic things the kids could wonder through ?
# Wee-Scamp 2011-10-22 08:35
Oh dear. I can feel a letter to Mike Weir coming on.
# Holebender 2011-10-22 09:24
Just what is your problem? So what if the major benefits go to foreign firms, it will still benefit Scotland as well. I really don't get where you're coming from.

In your world I presume you don't buy Japanese electrical goods or German cars or French wine. Do you buy anything which isn't made in Scotland?
# tartanfever 2011-10-22 09:52
Scamp - you've pointed out other Carbon Capture projects that are good, particularly the Algae growth technologies in Australia.

However, whilst this is not perfect, as you point out the technology is developed and built in other countries I think we should still push for this. Why ?

1) It's ready to go
2 It works
3) It will bring jobs
4) It will bring interest from other countries, and possibly trade
5) Any money you can get out of Westminster should be taken quickly before they get a chance to think again
6) It helps the environment now.
# Wee-Scamp 2011-10-22 19:32

"so what if the major benefits go to foreign firms"..... I really can't believe you wrote that. It's so 80/90s and what has contributed to the economic mess the UK is now in.

If we adopted your attitude the chances of reindustrialisi ng Scotland are zero. As the Japanese, Germans and even the French have proven time and time again - if you don't own it you don't control it and if you don't control it you can't reap the long term benefits because they will go elsewhere. You also don't provide opportunities for the young because as bizarre as it may seem these overseas companies tend to be patriotic and look after their own.

Sure I've bought German cars and Japanese electrical goods and French wine but then I don't have much of a choice. I can't buy a Scottish car or many Scottish electrical goods although I have bought silver birch wine made in Scotland. In fact it's difficult even to buy a UK car nowadays.
# Holebender 2011-10-22 20:02
Back in the 1970s foreign expertise and technology were brought in to open up the North Sea Oil & Gas province. Today Scots are working all over the planet (I am writing this from the middle of the Gabonese rainforest) and Scottish firms and technology are everywhere there is an oil & gas industry.

Sometimes you have to learn from the leaders before striking out on your own, and that's where I see many of the "green" energy projects in Scotland leading. We learn from those in the forefront now and, pretty soon, we'll take the lead.
# Wee-Scamp 2011-10-22 22:57
Yes Scots are working all over the planet but mainly for overseas companies.

I admire your optimism but I've been in the oil/gas industry for 35 years and am acutely aware that we are even now a long way behind the curve compared with the Norwegians and the Americans. What happened was what always happens here. The resource gets exploited but the opportunity doesn't.
# Macart 2011-10-22 08:58
Torches an pitchforks ah tell ye! As we all posted recently on this subject its all about the short sighted grab for cash in deficit reduction and at the same time sticking one on the SNP and the green energy revolution. Their excuses on denying the green light for this project do not add up and have been rubbished by pretty much every commentator to hand on even MSM. There is no place for the tories or lib dems to hide on this. They have messed up on a huge scale here!
# Barontorc 2011-10-22 11:04
As was posted earlier, it is myopically short-sighted of the potentially rump-UK to alienate its most important supplier of power. Crazy logic.

Rather than invest in technology to make the price of power generation less expensive for them to buy, rump-UK, will force the generation and transmission costs to be higher.

If Scotland has to borrow the necessary funding to optimise its full potential for exporting electricity, then we should factor that into the strategic plan.

If the generation schemes that are proposed, are viable and will form a major plank of revenue for Scotland - then there is no reason why we should not fund projects ourselves, then of course, we will load the costs back onto future customers - one of which will undoubtedly by rump-UK.

Are they totally daft or whit?
# Legerwood 2011-10-22 11:35
The Longannet decision by Huhne was a totaly stupid one and once more demonstrates what 'useful idiots' the LibDems are proving to be for the Tories.

But just think of the fun we are going to have when they send Huhne north to campaign for a NO vote in the referendum.

As they say - 'it is a long road that has no turning' [or speed limits in Huhne's case]
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-22 11:50
As they say - 'it is a long road that has no turning' [or speed limits in Huhne's case]

Or was it his wife, or some one else?
# Legerwood 2011-10-22 13:31
Or an adviser - or is it 'advisor'?
# UpSpake 2011-10-22 12:07
Stonewalling is the nature of unionism and the daily approach by the establishment to any threat to their 'right to rule' So Mr. Salmond, forget asking the UK government to change their minds no matter how right or wrong their arguement might be, it's never going to happen.
In fact, apart from a drip feed of funds for infrastructure, peeing in the wind, what responses other than NO!. have you had from Westminster on any request ?. Total and abject waste of time !.
# ButeHouse 2011-10-22 12:38
Stonewalling AND short term gain UpSpake are the hallmarks of Westminster re it's colonies, past and present.

But this isn't the pre 2007 SNP this is a very powerful Government with the largest mandate of any Scottish Party in history and the ONLY party in the UK with a full mandate to rule.

This is not a party which will easily be knocked off its mandated path as Westminster will find out, though I suspect that through the bluster they already know this.
# Ard Righ 2011-10-22 16:55
Despite the obvious Anglo-centric behaviour of Wastemonster or Anti-Scottish behaviour if you prefer, it is clear that all politicians are incapable of making intelligent decisions with regard to how any monies should be allocated for technologies and R&D for the future of power.
# J Wil 2011-10-23 09:11
Huhne lacks sincererity and doesn't look like a man who can be trusted. He should be called to account by The Commons for lying about the circumstances of withdrawing the Longannet funding.

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