Our plan is clear. Achieving Net Zero emissions from Scottish Industry as soon as possible – a roadmap sets out HOW we will achieve this.

Make no mistake, this is a complex issue. Scottish Industry currently emits about 11.9Mt COper year, the same as 2.6 million cars*, or roughly all the cars in Scotland. These emissions are spread across the country from the Borders to the Shetland Islands as shown in the graphic below. However, the graphic also shows that many of the largest emitters are clustered together and that a relatively small number of sources account for much of the emissions.

*A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Source:  

This is therefore a good place to start the work of getting industry to Net Zero and the Roadmap work that NECCUS is starting will begin in these areas – principally in the Central Belt of Scotland and in Aberdeenshire.

Even here the types of industry and the reasons for their CO2 emissions vary. Some generate most CO2 from the energy they consume – and here a clean fuel from either hydrogen or renewable electricity is key. While others create most of the CO2 emissions in the act of creating the products we need in everyday life, so capturing the CO2 and permanently storing it is essential. It may even be possible to utilise some of this CO2 to create Net Zero versions of essential products we use every day.

The importance of getting this right cannot be understated. In a Net Zero future, industry will be essential – for jobs, for the essentials we will still need in life, for our economy and the wellbeing of the communities built up around these traditional industries. This is why the work of the Roadmap will also support the goal of a Just Transition and the excellent work that the Just Transition Commission is doing in Scotland.

But, this effort is not just for the benefit of Scotland. By setting out solutions for this nation, we are also helping the rest of the UK and Europe – by both showing the way which they can follow and ensuring the products they use can be made in a Net Zero way.

The Roadmap


Working closely with central Government, a series of fiscal and policy frameworks and primary and secondary legislation will be put in place to allow CCUS and hydrogen to develop at an industrial scale in the UK


Initial project(s) are sanctioned, and investment is made in creating long term infrastructure to capture, transport and store CO2. Construction takes place from 2023 to 2025.


The first carbon capture and storage project is commissioned with initial volumes captured and stored. This is likely to start small, but grow rapidly, and crucially, show the way for wider industrial decarbonisation. Carbon Capture and Utilisation demonstrators will be up and running at several sites across Scotland, demonstrating how CO2 can be used to create useful Net Zero products.


The first hydrogen production commences and is used to drive Net Zero municipal fleets – such as buses, while opening up the opportunity for hydrogen as a Net Zero fuel source for industry. Hydrogen can also be blended in the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure helping to reduce the CO2 emissions in homes and businesses across the country.

The possibility for Direct Air Capture (DACs) of CO2 to further assist with negative emissions, with commercial scale plants onstream.


CO2 shipping commences and allows Scotland to support net zero efforts in other industrial clusters across the UK and Europe. Scotland could be storing over 5 Mt CO2 per year, equivalent to over 40% of Scottish industrial emissions. A pipeline connects large CO2 emission sources in the Central Belt of Scotland to long-term storage in the North Sea. Potential for a second hydrogen production site closer to Edinburgh and Glasgow, providing a clean fuel for some of the largest industrial plants in Scotland.


With increasing CO2 shipping and growing carbon capture in Scottish industry, Scotland could be storing 7 Mt CO2 per year. Commitment could be made to additional CO2 storage sites in the North Sea and more hydrogen production to support industrial decarbonisation, with Scotland’s natural advantages in terms of renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal) allowing further hydrogen generation from electrolysis.


By this time industrial decarbonisation could be one of the main contributors to Scotland’s ambition of a 75% reduction in CO2, and 5GW of hydrogen production, by 2030.


Further CO2 storage sites in the North Sea can commence storing CO2, with existing pipeline and terminal infrastructure utilised to deliver this in a cost-effective manner. Hydrogen production could be displacing Natural Gas as a key clean industrial, transport and heating fuel. CO2 emissions captured could exceed all industrial emissions from industry in Scotland, creating a Net Zero industrial cluster.


The energy transition is in full effect. Large industrial users are at Net Zero, with heavy vehicle transport using hydrogen as the clean fuel of choice, and electric vehicles the norm for small and personal vehicles. A mix of heat pumps and hydrogen provide heat for homes and buildings. Bioenergy with carbon capture, coupled with renewables is the primary electricity source. Hydrocarbons no longer burned but principally used as feedstock for essential everyday products.


The Scottish deadline for net zero. Industry achieves net zero emissions, preserving much needed jobs, expertise and opportunities for growth. New industries have emerged using CO2 as an ingredient to create bio-fuels, plastics, construction material, livestock and fish meal. Scotland has benefitted, with skills and services being exported to the rest of the world which is on the same net zero journey. While CO2 storage is a profitable service where Scotland sequesters much of Europe’s industrial process carbon emissions.


The deadline for the UK as a whole to reach Net Zero. With the head-start and infrastructure developed in Scotland, the UK achieves Net Zero and becomes one of the first large industrial nations to demonstrate that a Net Zero economy is not only possible, but will bring prosperity to future generations.

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