Scotland moved closer to its net zero ambitions with the announcement of over £30m of UK Government funding for a suite of initiatives aimed at enabling both infrastructure for its ambitious carbon reduction targets, and some of the anchor sites for its use.

The Scotland Net Zero Infrastructure (SNZI) programme brings together Pale Blue Dot (the Acorn project lead developer), SSE Thermal, National Grid, Petrofac, LNG9/GB-Tron, Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde, and NECCUS. Collectively the group will work to develop net zero infrastructure for both Hydrogen and CCUS, including: 

  • Detailed engineering for the Acorn CCS and Hydrogen projects to enable a final investment decision, and allow carbon abatement from the mid-2020’s
  • Developing a new CCS-equipped power station at Peterhead, capable of producing large volumes of predictable Net Zero ‘base-load’ power
  • Options for the re-use of onshore pipelines to transport CO2 from large industrial clusters across the Central Belt and East Coast of Scotland to secure stores in the North Sea
  • Engineering design for carbon capture on a new proposed gas-fired power station in Grangemouth
  • Development of a ‘fabrication ready’ design of CO2 tanker ship which can service the needs of coastal CO2 emitters around the UK for delivery to Scottish CO2 stores

Coupled with the prior announcement in January of a £1.23m investment from the Government for a Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap project (SNZR) [LINK], and the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Center (IDRIC) [LINK] being established at Heriot Watt University in 2020; this places Scotland at the heart of efforts to deliver net zero for industry. Cementing its low carbon credentials, and potentially paving the way for onshore and offshore developments totalling more than £3 billion.  

Scotland is the obvious choice to begin industrial decarbonisation as it can leverage its natural strengths: utilising existing infrastructure (onshore & offshore) that could be re-used, utilising the largest and best understood CO2 storage potential in the UK, leveraging large scale renewable build-out in the years ahead to design in Net Zero options such as hydrogen, and ensuring a Just Transition for the skilled workforce across Scotland that will be needed to deliver the energy transition.

Mike Smith, NECCUS CEO commented ‘Leveraging all aspects of Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Scotland will over the next couple of years develop the Roadmap to decarbonising over 9 Mt CO2 p.a. of industrial emissions in Scotland, the infrastructure needed to enable not just industrial decarbonisation, but reduced emissions in other parts of the economy, and target the innovations needed to enable this’

‘Collaboration between SNZI, SNZR, and IDRIC allows Scottish industry to understanding the decarbonising options for their sites, how this fits with net zero enabling infrastructure, and the new technology deployment to deliver this at pace and cost effectively. We look forward to working closely with industrial partners across the region.’



The UK Government award is being made as part of Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is focussed on providing money to kick start clean growth projects.  

Net zero targets are goals set by Government to completely remove the amount of greenhouse gases produced. It is achievable by both reducing emissions and implementing methods of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Both the Scottish and UK Governments have made legally binding commitments to reach Net Zero by 2045 and 2050 respectively.

Pale Blue Dot will project manage this Scottish Net Zero Infrastructure (SNZI) initiative with industry and academic partners delivering the following specific programmes of work:

  • SSE Thermal is developing a comprehensive decarbonisation programme for Peterhead Power Station
  • National Grid is exploring the potential repurposing of onshore gas pipelines to transport CO2  
  • Petrofac will support offshore pipeline and sub-sea activities to develop the Acorn CCS project
  • LNG9/GB-Tron will be undertaking an engineering design programme for carbon capture technology on a gas power station at Grangemouth 
  • The University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy, will investigate the wider economy impacts and opportunities that a CO2 management industry presents for Scotland.
  • NECCUS, the body which brings together almost 50 organisations to bring down CO2 emissions from industry, will provide a key link to other work in Scotland, including the ISCF Cluster Plan and Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR).