At the end of last week the EU were distributing £160m of funding to a number of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) facilities around Europe. One of the potential bidders for the funding was Longannet power station in Fife. This is one of the first coal power power stations to install the technology to reduce the amount of CO2 it uses while providing power.
One UK plant was amongst the successful bidders Hatfield in Yorkshire, which was one of the few pre-combustion projects in the running. But supporters of Longannet are not that disheartened as a pioneer in the field they are hopeful of future funding from a second trance of EU support coming next year to take the process further.
One such supported was Lib Dem MEP George Lyon whose Facebook update late last week read:
"Still waiting for CSS funding news for Scotland. So far Compostilla has won the Spanish bid and Vattenfall has the German CSS project."
I asked George what his view was now that the final news of the successful bids was out. He said:
"I launched my European election campaign at Longannet power station confident in the facilities available and the ambition to put Scotland at the forefront of carbon capture and storage technology. This decision has not changed my view and I remain confident that Longannet has a vital role to play in the development of CCS technology.
"Despite what the SNP claim, Scotland's oil wells are drying up. Through CCS technology we can look to the future and begin to fill them up again, this time with harmful gases. Developing nations like India and China are fuelling the growth of their economies with coal. I want Scotland to be in a position to take advantage of these emerging markets.
"Longannet's bid was a good one, and they have already taken steps towards introducing CCS technology. When the next round of funding comes round Longannet will be in a strong position and I will continue to work with Willie Rennie MP to see this pioneering technology in Fife."
Other supporters of the work going on at Longannet include Richard Dixon, director of WWF, whose organisation recently said it through the Scottish plant was the best option in the UK competition for funding. He said:
"It is disappointing Longannet has not been chosen this time around. We sincerely hope it will get some form of support to properly test this technology soon, whether it is from Europe or as a winner of the UK government's own CCS competition.
"The world urgently needs technology that will reduce our climate emissions and Scotland is well placed to take a global lead in this important field.
"The power sector is responsible for more than a third of Scotland's emissions, most of it from burning coal. CCS is a potentially important technology which could help reduce emissions around the world."
Here's to the future and further research in this way of cutting emissions at Longannet and other locations, especially in China who are building so many coal fired power stations we need them to utilize CCS on a large scale.