Build of low-carbon power station in Peterhead could generate £470m for UK economy

A planned new low-carbon power station at SSE Thermal’s Peterhead site in Aberdeenshire could generate £470 million for the UK economy during its development and construction, a new report has said.

The powering the next generation report highlights the potential socio-economic benefits of the facility which could become one of the first UK power stations equipped with a carbon capture plant.

Based on analysis from BiGGAR Economics, the report highlights the scale of the economic impact at a local, Scottish, and UK level. In total, it estimates that £2.2 billion will be invested throughout the development, construction, and the first 25 years of its operational life.

It adds that £60 million is expected to be contributed to the Aberdeen city and shire economy during development and construction, with 980 years of employment supported. Over the station’s operational lifetime, it is estimated that around £25 million will be added to the wider Aberdeen economy each year – with around 240 jobs supported on an annual basis.

On a Scotland-wide level, the analysis shows that £190 million would be added to the economy during development and construction, with 3,070 years of employment supported. Across the lifetime of the station, an average of around £35 million would be added to the Scottish economy annually with 290 further jobs supported each year.

Finally, at a UK level, the report estimates that £470 million would be added to the economy through development and construction, as well as 7,850 years of employment. On an annual basis once operational, the plant would contribute an average of around £50 million to the UK economy and support 560 jobs.

Scottish Government net zero and energy secretary, Michael Matheson, said, “Carbon capture, utilisation and storage is critical for meeting, not only Scotland’s statutory emissions reduction targets, but those set across the UK. Indeed, advice from the Climate Change Committee describes the technology as a ‘necessity, not an option’. The innovative Peterhead CCGT Power Station is a fantastic example of how Scotland’s energy sector can make the transition to net zero and – as this study demonstrates – benefit the Scottish economy, providing employment and a just transition for our workforces.

“It shows just how important it is to invest now in carbon capture technology. Which is why the UK Government must award the Scottish Cluster clear and definitive Track-1 status. We continue to press them to reconsider their decision and work in collaboration with the Scottish Government to accelerate support for the energy transition in Scotland. This includes offering £80 million under our Emerging Energy Technologies Fund to accelerate the cluster’s deployment.”