What is the Scottish Net Zero Roadmap?

The two year project which has attracted £1.23 million from Innovate UK and is match funded by our industry partners sets out a plan to help Scottish industry achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Project Background

The UK has set itself an ambitious and legally binding target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with Scotland promising to achieve the same reduction by 2045.

We cannot deliver net zero without decarbonising emissions from industry, and the Government’s own advisors, the Committee on Climate Change itself says industry will be one of the hardest sectors to tackle.

CO2 emissions from Scottish industry currently stand at over 11 Million tonnes per year, roughly 25% of all emissions from Scotland. But those same industries also produce the essential products we need every day, such as steel and cement and employ over 300,000 people, so we need to ensure it delivers net zero in way that’s fair and doesn’t put jobs and livelihoods at risk.

In Nov 2020, the Prime Minister introduced a 10 point plan to deliver a green industrial future. Industrial decarbonisation is central to this ambition.

The plan set particular targets to ensure 5 GW of hydrogen generation and 10 Mt of CO2 is being stored every year per by 2030, as well as creating a framework to enable the continued expansion of renewable energy.

For the plan to succeed and for us to meet the 2050 target, energy intensive industries in particular must start looking to innovative solutions to cut emissions. This may mean redesigning production processes or looking to alternative, less carbon intensive fuel sources. Some may need to do both.

What are industrial clusters and why does the project exist?

UK Government’s Industrial Grand Challenge.

SNZR aligns with the UK governments industrial Grand Challenges.
SNZR has been funded through the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) administered by UKRI which falls under the clean growth component of the ISCF.

What is an industrial cluster?

Within the cluster plans element of the IDC they are described as key hubs of local economic activity and form an important part of the UK economy. They are areas in the UK which tend to create high quality industrial jobs and play a crucial part in the local and
national economy.

What it is the Scottish Net Zero Roadmap and what does it aim to achieve?

It will include:

  1. A geographic area covering the vast majority of Scottish industrial emissions
  2. A baseline reference emissions case
  3. A review of technology deployment options for industrial decarbonisation
  4. The conceptual engineering of decarbonising options at key sites
  5. An energy system model of the region
  6. Outputs from a series of net zero scenario pathways
  7. High-level economics for the most promising scenarios
  8. Input to wider work (outside this project) on: Supply Chain Engagement, Skills & Workforce Planning, Just Transition
  9. Recommendations to UK and Scottish Government policy, regulation and planning frameworks

Other Projects and how SNZR links to them

As part of the UK government’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions particularly from industrial sources, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is supporting a range of initiatives to deliver the plans and infrastructure necessary to enable net zero.

In Scotland much of this activity is focused on the Scottish Cluster, a region along the East Coast of Scotland which covers the vast majority of industrial emissions.

Three initiatives are currently ongoing:

  1. The first is the Scottish Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR) which will develop the pathways and the roadmap to Net Zero for industry in the region
  2. The second is known as the Scottish Net Zero Infrastructure (SNZI) Project. It is advancing the engineering work to put in place the infrastructure (pipelines, CO2 stores, initial CO2 capture and hydrogen production plants) necessary to support the journey to Net Zero
  3. The third is the Cluster Sequencing exercise. A program by BEIS to define the regions in the UK to be given initial support for decarbonisation with a target for at least two such regions with decarbonising projects operating by the mid-2020s

Scotland, because of its obvious geographic advantages as well as its technical and historical connections to energy production is at the centre of the some of the UK’s most exciting and innovative thinking when it comes to decarbonising industry and developing alternatives to fossil fuels. IDRIC, the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre is based at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and is central to much of the research being conducted across the UK designed to help us be net zero in carbon emissions by 2050.

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