The Project – Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR)

The UK Government has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the Scottish Government aims to meet this target by 2045.  To support this goal, the UK Government and Innovate UK established an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.  This is supporting initiatives across six UK regions to develop roadmaps for the decarbonisation of industrial clusters. Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR) is one of these and received funding for initial work (Phase 1) to understand the scale of industrial CO2 emissions in Scotland and the potential options to address these.

Phase 1 took place between April and July 2020 and it has designed the approach for Phase 2, when the actual roadmap will be developed. Phase 1 partners have been; NECCUS, Optimat, Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) at the University of Edinburgh, the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde, Pale Blue Dot Energy, SGN, Costain and the Energy Systems Catapult.

The geographic scope

In 2018, greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland were the net equivalent of 41.6 million tonnes of CO2[1]. Of these, 11.9 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted by industry. Work in Phase 1 of the Roadmap mapped these emissions and showed that around 80% lie within a corridor highlighted in blue on the map, which covers Lothian in the south, through to Grangemouth (3.8 million tonnes) in the Central Belt to St Fergus (2.3 million tonnes) in the North East of Scotland. It is these emissions that SNZR is focusing on.

Scotland’s natural strengths for industrial decarbonisation

  • 1/4
    Ready-made access to a geologically perfect storage site.

    The North East coast of Scotland provides ready access to a sub-surface storage site which has the potential to store sixty years’ worth of the UK’s CO2 emissions. Thanks to decades of oil and gas extraction, the location, which is 100km offshore and 2km below the sea bed, is well understood by geologists and provides exactly the right conditions to store carbon safely and permanently for thousands of years.

  • 2/4
    Existing infrastructure easily re-purposed

    Because the storage site once provided a large part of the UK’s natural gas supply, the sub-surface pipeline infrastructure that was used to bring the gas ashore can now be repurposed to transport CO2 offshore, providing more than £500m in cost savings and reducing the time needed to construct the pipelines. Around 30% of the UK’s known CO2 storage potential lies within 50km of this pipeline corridor making it easy to scale up. Existing onshore pipelines can also be put to good use to transport CO2 and cleaner forms of energy like hydrogen.

  • 3/4
    A world-class supply chain with the resources, skills and experience to deliver

    Scotland has been home to the UK’s oil and gas sector for the last 50 years. The men and women who work here have the skills and the experience to build the technology needed to deliver a world-class CCUS sector which will decarbonise the UK’s industry quickly and effectively. They’re supported by academic institutions and a government determined to deliver an energy transition that’s rapid and fair for all.

  • 4/4
    80% of Scotland’s industrial emissions are within 30 miles of the East Coast of Scotland.

    From Lothian in the south, to Aberdeenshire on the north east coast, the majority of Scotland’s industrial emitters of CO2 are clustered in one, easy-to-reach corridor. Linking these sources of CO2 to easily accessible storage options make Scotland the natural choice to begin the UK’s industrial decarbonisation strategy.

Technology Solutions

Working with industry several different technology options have been identified at various stages of commercialisation but could be implemented during the roadmap for industrial decarbonisation in Scotland

These will be modelling to understand how different technologies might be implemented across the whole of the Scottish cluster.

Net Zero Scenarios

To understand the possible pathways to deliver Net Zero for industry, different scenarios will be assessed. Six initial scenarios have been developed that map potential impacts on industrial decarbonisation based on the timing of different decarbonisation actions (e.g. CCUS, hydrogen fuel switching and electrification):

Scenario Fuel Switching Efficiency Process emissions H2 production CO2 transport Non-industry: heat Non-industry: transport
Base-case Baseline Moderate CCUS Early Blue, local, early Pipeline, early Electricity, Hydrogen, DHN* Electric cars, H2 trucks
Soft Start Biomass, electricity High CCUS Later Blue, local, early Pipeline, later Electricity, Hydrogen, DHN* Electric
Local H2 network Hydrogen Low CCUS Later Blue, local, early Pipeline, early Electricity, Hydrogen, DHN* Electric cars, H2 trucks
H2 economy Hydrogen High CCUS Early Blue, national, early Pipeline, early Hydrogen H2
Renewables push Biomass, Electricity, Hydrogen Low CCUS Early Green, national, early Pipeline, later Hydrogen, Electricity, Biomass Electric
CO2 shipping Baseline Moderate CCUS Early Blue, local, early Shipping, Rail Electricity, Hydrogen, DHN* Electric cars, H2 trucks


*Domestic Heating Networks

These will be modelling to understand how different technologies might be implemented across the whole of the Scottish cluster.

What’s next?

NECCUS has submitted a bid to Innovate UK to deliver the Net Zero Roadmap for Scotland.

The project will collaborate with the rich vein of existing decarbonising projects in the region, and expertise from global Net Zero projects, which many of the partner organisations are taking a lead role on. We aim to identify future actions Scotland can take to accelerate the green recovery, including identifying opportunities for inward investment and how to take advantage of low carbon infrastructure to provide a service for the rest of the UK and Europe.

The 12 partners organisations are: NECCUS, Aker Solutions, Costain, Doosan Babcock, Energy System Catapult, Halliburton, Optimat, Pale Blue Dot, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, SCCS – University of Edinburgh, CEP – University of Strathclyde, and Wood.

If the bid is successful, the project team hope to commence work on Phase 2 – the Roadmap delivery in January 2021, with the project expected to take 24 months to fully deliver on its objectives, and interim results being released during this time.


What else is happening?

In addition to the Roadmap projects, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is also supporting two other initiatives.

The aspiration is that the Roadmap defines the pathways to deliver Net Zero for industry, IDRIC delivers the continued research and innovation to support these pathways, and the Infrastructure Deployment projects enable the backbone infrastructure which industry can use.

Want to know more?

The links below provide more information on the Roadmap project to date. We will continue to add to this as we progress the project in the future.

  • Summary report
  • Stakeholder engagement summary
  • Analysis Scottish industrial emissions baseline
  • Scanning of technology options
  • Prioritisation of technologies
  • Scale and cost reductions
  • Scoping of industrial energy system modelling