The Firth of Forth industrial hub should be central to Scotland’s net zero strategy, while continuing to drive economic growth and job creation, according to a report.
On 17 August, Wood Mackenzie published a paper, making the case to establish the Firth of Forth as a net zero hub. This is due to it capturing the challenges faced by the UK and Scotland when it comes to decarbonisation and the opportunities set to emerge from a low carbon economy, both domestically and internationally. Scottish industry emits around 10.7Mt of CO2 a year. The Grangemouth and Mosmorran cluster accounts for around 40% of this total and 10% of Scotland’s overall emissions. It is also a key part of the economy, sustaining thousands of jobs and producing multiple products and feedstocks that are essential to other industries and modern living.
It has a number of advantages, notably its sheltered waters and deep water loading, ensuring access to international markets all year round, as well as its strategic position in Scotland to act as a perfect distribution hub for the petroleum products of today and low-carbon fuels and products of tomorrow. Scotland’s abundance of renewable power and extensive sub-surface storage potential in the North Sea mean it can be a key player when it comes to hydrogen production and export, and import and long-term storage of CCUS.
The fact it’s a centre of expertise with the skills necessary to achieve the multiple technical and commercial challenges set to arise in delivering net zero was highlighted as a critical differentiator for the area. This means that while part of the net zero challenge, it also has the potential to be part of the solution. Developing a vision for the region as a net zero hub would highlight its strategic importance alongside the many attractive characteristics it has that make it a compelling industrial and trading hub, creating long-term high quality jobs.
It further mapped out how through raising the area’s profile under a net zero banner, focus and momentum will grow, generating ideas and initiatives. Government support will be needed, however, with a clear plan defining the ambitions, challenges and identifying projects that would help deliver on net zero, as well as citing the strategic, economic and social benefits, needed to attract funding.