The Scottish Cluster could deliver 20,600 jobs in the next decade, through developing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), hydrogen and Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies.
On 21 July, project partners published a report – commissioned by Storegga – into the employment impact of the Scottish Cluster in Scotland, finding that it could support an average of 15,100 jobs between 2022 and 2050. When broken down, this would equate to 6,200 direct jobs and 8,900 roles in the supply chain, with the peak of 20,600 expected to come in 2031.
Hydrogen production is set to account for most of the jobs supported by the Cluster, which itself will be critical to enabling and accelerating the deployment of low carbon hydrogen. It will account for 1.3GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, rising to 3.7GW by 2050. Without the Cluster, hydrogen uptake among Scottish sectors could be significantly challenged, impacting decarbonisation timelines for the industrial, heat and transport sectors, as well as affecting deep decarbonisation pathways for Scottish industries.
It will also enable carbon capture deployment across a varied set of emitters alongside a robust, resilient, multi-option CO2 transport and storage system. Investment decisions are due in early 2023, followed by commissioning from 2025, leading to 6.7mn tonnes of CO2 being captured per annum by 2030, rising to 23mn tonnes over the longer-term.
Between 2025 and 2030, the Cluster will include nine different UK CO2 sources, spread across a range of high emitting sectors, as well as new hydrogen generation plant and the deployment of DAC technology. It is expected that eight of these sources will be operational by 2027, with the Cluster capturing and storing 25.5Mt of CO2 by 2030. From 2030 onwards, a significant expansion is being targeted, driven by CO2 shipping customers and the expansion of local DAC and hydrogen projects. Come 2050, it is expected to be cumulatively capturing and storing close to 500Mt.
The Cluster is vying to be part of the government’s CCS track 1 cluster programme, having submitted its bid for a proportion of £1bn in funding on 9 July. It could start supporting jobs as early as next year (2022).