ScottishPower Sponsors UK’s First Academic Alliance to Focus on Carbon Capture and Storage


ScottishPower has announced its sponsorship of the UK’s first alliance between industry and academia to focus specifically on carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is the ground-breaking technology designed to remove CO2 from the exhaust gasses at fossil fuelled power stations. This will be known as the ScottishPower Academic Alliance, SPAA.

SPAA has been designed to match the needs of the UK’s fast developing CCS industry with the research capacity of some of the country’s leading academics from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh. It will focus specifically on technical innovation around the capture and offshore storage of CO2, the policy and regulatory aspects of CCS and look at what the UK needs to do to capitalise on the commercial opportunities the technology offers – especially in developing a national skills capacity.

ScottishPower is investing almost GBP5 million over the next five years which will fund up to 12 full-time researchers working at University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London. ScottishPower will seek to leverage this funding through further contributions from Government and international sponsors which it hopes will consolidate the UK’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence for this embryonic industry.

Nick Horler, ScottishPower’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a terrific step forward for ScottishPower and will help us in our ambitions to make CCS a reality in the UK by 2014. I am enormously proud to be associated with the work of some of the world’s leading authorities on CCS. Their input will be vital to improve our understanding of this essential technology and help us to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle climate change.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, ScottishPower Chair of CCS at University of Edinburgh, said: “Developing a CCS industry in the UK will capitalise on our established offshore and engineering expertise and make a significant contribution to the economy of the country, creating new jobs and skills. I am pleased to be building on the CCS research results the University of Edinburgh has already achieved with ScottishPower, and to welcome Imperial College London as partners. The expertise of all three organisations will help to maintain the UK’s leading position in CCS.”

Professor Nigel Brandon, Director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London, added: “CCS is a technology that has a real potential to reduce CO2 emissions globally, but there remain a number of technological, political and economic challenges to be overcome if this technology is to be widely adopted. I am delighted that ScottishPower is working in partnership with the College and the University of Edinburgh to tackle these important issues.  Our aim is to help ScottishPower achieve its targets for CCS technology, and to provide our staff and students with exciting opportunities to translate their research into real industrial impact in this important field.”

Notes to Editors:

ScottishPower CCS Background

  • A ScottishPower led Carbon Capture and Storage Consortium, which also includes Shell and National Grid, has been selected as one of the final bids in the UK Government’s carbon capture and storage competition.
  • The competition was launched in late 2007 to encourage energy companies to develop commercially viable CCS schemes. There were originally nine entrants. The ScottishPower entry is one of two bids selected by DECC to enter the final stage of the competition before the contract to build the CCS system - which is expected to be awarded in 2011.
  • Once operational the capture technology will reduce CO2 emissions by 90% from one 300MW unit at ScottishPower’s coal-fired plant. That would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.
  • The ScottishPower Consortium is currently operating a carbon capture prototype at its power station at Longannet in Fife, Scotland. It was installed in May 2009 and has run for over 3000 hours.
  • ScottishPower is the only energy company in the UK which is capturing carbon on a working coal-fired power station. This programme is helping to prove the chemistry of carbon capture and uses the same technology that can be retrofitted to the tens of thousands of coal-fired power stations worldwide.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.


Further Information:

ScottishPower: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515

University of Edinburgh: Catriona Kelly, 0131 651 4401

Imperial College London: Colin Smith, 020 7594 6712

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