Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters: Socio - Economic Assesment

The study reported here provides a high level socio-economic appraisal of the potential costs and benefits to activities that may arise as a result of offshore wind, wave or tidal development within the Draft Plan Options as part of possible future Scotti

B3. Carbon Capture and Storage

B3.1 Overview

Carbon capture and storage ( CCS) is a carbon abatement technology that will enable fossil fuels to be used with substantially reduced CO 2 emissions. CCS combines three distinct processes: capturing the CO 2 from power stations and other industrial sources, transporting it (usually via pipelines) to storage points, then injection of the CO 2 into deep geological formations ( e.g. deep saline formations or depleted Oil and Gas fields) for long term storage. The full chain of CCS technologies ( i.e. the process described above) has yet to be demonstrated at a commercial scale within Scotland. However, CCS is an active field of research and development and a growing industry. Figure B3 shows an overview of potential CCS storage sites in relation to the Draft Plan Option areas. Information sources used in the assessment are listed in Table B3.1.

Table B3.1 Information Sources


Information Available




Potential CO 2 storage sites, transport options between sources and storage sites (ship and pipeline)


Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage (2009.)


Refined estimate of CO 2 storage capacity in North East Region, estimates of timelines to CCS deployment and employment estimates


Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage (2011)


Potential transport options and possible European CCS Network


Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise (2011)


Potential CO 2 storage sites


Baxter et al (2011)


CCS Project Proposals


Carbon Capture and Storage Association (2012)


CCS Commercialisation Programme


DECC (2013)

B3.2 Future Trends

The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise (2010) stated that the emerging CCS-based industry in Scotland could support up to an estimated 10,000 new jobs in the next 15-20 years. A more recent study ( SCCS, 2011) stated that an appropriately skilled and trained workforce, in addition to that already engaged in the engineering and offshore industries, will be an essential component of the new CCS industry in the UK and estimated that CCS could create 13,000 jobs in Scotland (and 14,000 elsewhere in the UK) by 2020 and increase in the following years ( SCCS, 2011). This study also estimated that the UK plc share of the worldwide CCS business is potentially worth over £10 billion per year from around 2025, with the added value in the UK worth between £5-9.5 billion per year ( SCCS, 2011).

CCS on fossil fuel power generation may have an important role in helping to meet Scotland's climate change targets of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas ( GHG) emissions by 2050. The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise (2010) state that in order to make significant progress towards Scotland's climate change targets the electricity generation sector needs to be decarbonised by 2030. To meet this target Scotland must have one or more demonstrator projects operational by 2015 to ensure that CCS is available on a commercial scale from 2020 and be widespread in the sector by 2030 (including the retrofitting of CCS to existing plants). However, challenges to this emerging sector include demonstrating that CCS is economically and technically feasible, that CCS is permanent (proposed sites must be investigated and evaluated to demonstrate they are suitable for secure storage of CO2 for thousands of years) and whether the technology can be developed within a timescale that enables utilisation of the existing Oil and Gas infrastructure (platforms and pipelines) before decommissioning occurs (Baxter et al, 2011). Potential storage sites may increase as further hydrocarbon fields or saline aquifers suitable for CO2 storage may yet be discovered ( SCCS, 2009).

B3.3 Potential for Interaction

Table B3.2 shows potential interaction pathways between carbon capture and storage and wind, wave and/or tidal arrays.

Explanation of column content:

Column 1: Describes the potential interaction between the activity and any renewable technology;

Column 2: Identifies the types of offshore renewable development (wind, wave or tidal) for which the interaction may arise;

Column 3: Identifies the potential socio-economic consequence associated with the interaction identified in Column 1;

Column 4: Indicates whether detailed assessment will or will not be required if activity is scoped in;

Column 5: Identifies how the socio-economic impact will be assessed.

Table B3.2 Potential for Interaction






Potential Interaction

Technology Relevance (Wind, Wave, Tidal)

Potential Socio-economic Consequence

Requires Detailed Assessment (√) or Does Not Require Detailed Assessment (X)

How the Economic Impact Will be Assessed

Competition for space.

All arrays, export cables

Sterilization of potential storage areas/obstruction of potential pipeline routes

√ - where Draft Plan Option areas overlap or lie inshore of potential storage areas

See Section B3.4

B3.4 Scoping Methodology

B3.4.1 Competition for Space

For the purpose of this assessment, this potential negative effect was only considered to be likely where Draft Plan Option areas or export cable corridors overlap or lie inshore of identified deep geological formations (saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas fields). Using this assumption:

  • Draft Plan Option areas and/or cable corridors which do not overlap or lie inshore of identified geological formations were scoped out of the assessment;
  • Draft Plan Option areas and/or cable corridors which do overlap or lie inshore of identified geological formations were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment;
  • Draft Plan Option areas which do lie inshore of identified geological formations but occupy only a small percentage of the Draft Plan Option areas were also scoped out of the assessment as it has been assumed that spatial planning of the Draft Plan Option areas can be used to avoid significant impacts. The parameters for scoping out include:
    • Wind: <5% of Draft Plan Option areas
    • Wave: <5% of Draft Plan Option areas
    • Tidal: <5% of Draft Plan Option areas
  • The results of the scoping exercise are presented in Appendix C3.

B3.5 Assessment Methodology

B3.5.1 Competition for Space

The Carbon Capture and Storage Association ( CCSA) and the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage ( OCCS) were consulted to determine their views on the potential socio-economic impacts of the identified wind, wave and tidal Draft Plan Option areas on CCS development.

There is currently a high level of uncertainty about the future location and scale of carbon capture and storage activity in UK seas, in particular, commercial viability is still to be demonstrated. There are a large number of potential storage sites in Scottish seas, and through the DECC CCS Commercialisation Competition two sites in Scotland have been shortlisted. These are the Peterhead project (storing in the Goldeneye field) as well as the Captain Project (storing in the Aspen formation within the Captain sandstone). The details of these projects, including any future infrastructure developments, were reviewed along with Government plans and policies which might influence the development of CCS in the longer term.

Future CCS requirements and potential developments in Scotland were also reviewed. The storage capacity of the Captain Sandstone formation in the North Sea is estimated to be more than 360million tonnes of CO2, even when applying the most stringent, geologically least favourable conditions. There is the potential for an additional 1200 million tonnes storage capacity with significant investment. Therefore, it is predicted that the Captain Sandstone formation alone could provide a feasible secure store of Scotland's CO2 emissions from existing industrial point sources for the next 15 to 100 years ( SCCS and Scottish Government, 2011). In addition, there is very likely to be sufficient storage to allow import of CO2 from North East England ( SCCS and Scottish Government, 2009). Linking onshore power stations to these offshore storage sites would potentially require significant infrastructure development which has the potential to interact with the Draft Plan Option areas. Where this issue has been identified the cost of re-routing a CCS pipeline and/or the cost of cable/pipeline crossings has been calculated as follows:

The cost of re-routing pipelines was calculated based on the additional distance required for future CCS pipeline routes to deviate around Draft Plan Option areas and/or of export cable corridors of concern

Length of deviation (km) x average cost pipeline laying per km

The average cost per km for pipeline laying was based on standard industry values of £1million per km (as confirmed by CCSA), whilst the length of deviation was estimated under a worst case if the pipeline route had to avoid all Draft Plan Option areas and associated cable corridors.

Similarly, where pipeline laying was considered likely, the additional cost of crossing any cables linking the Draft Plan Option areas to the land was calculated. Assuming 132 MW cables will be used to transmit the energy generated the number of cable crossings needed under each scenario was calculated as follows:

Notional installed capacity within relevant Draft Plan Option areas ( MW) / 132 ( MW)

The standard industry cost of crossings of existing pipelines or cables is between £0.5-1million ( ODIS). As a precautionary measure this assessment has assumed that all cable crossings will cost £1million. The total cost of cable crossings was determined as follows:

Number of cable crossings x cost of cable crossing

The assessment has assumed constant prices in real terms based on 2012.

The results of these reviews, consultations and analysis are described in the assessment results Appendix C3.2.


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