The site of the decommissioned nuclear power plant at Chapelcross has been hailed as a potential national storage centre for renewable energy at a Scottish Parliament event held last week.
The event, hosted by south of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine brought together academics, environmental campaigners and the energy sector to listen to presentations on the future of the energy storage industry in Scotland.
Scottish Enterprise also sent one of its South of Scotland Dumfries based directors to the event – David Byers.
CEO of Energy Storage Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce Brian Richardson said that the former nuclear plant at Chapelcross could potentially be re-purposed to become a national centre for storage in Scotland, bringing massive economic benefits to the area.
Academics Professor Susan Roaf and Dr Edward Owens, from Heriot Watt University’s world leading Energy Academy also contributed to the event, giving an overview of the emerging global energy storage market and specific technologies currently undergoing development.
D&G Chamber of Commerce CEO Brain Richardson said:
“Last week’s event hosted by Joan McAlpine was a great opportunity to highlight the vital role storage technologies will play in Scotland’s future energy strategy. The efficiency of our energy system is greatly reduced at present because of lack of proper storage. Addressing this would immediately increase efficiency and Scotland would meet its ambitious renewables targets significantly quicker.
“An investment in technologies such as Liquid Air – which stores excess renewable energy in Liquid form so that it can be used to generate electricity when demand for power rises – would create between 4,000 and 5,000 Scottish jobs in manufacturing assembly and operation.
“Since energy economies around the world will require these technologies, Scotland could create a global leading position and develop an export industry in manufacturing and design and deployment.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine added:
“I am pleased that the event was such a success, and a very informative evening. Brian Richardson, Professor Roaf and Dr Owens made an important and compelling case for serious investment in storage technologies. Scotland has an exciting chance to become a world leader in this technology – and I believe there would be major environmental and economic benefits for Scotland and the south west in particular.
“I was particularly interested to hear Brian discussing the potential for the Chapelcross site. While it is very early days yet, I think his proposal for the site to be utilised as a national storage centre deserves attention. It is potentially a very exciting proposal for the region, and certainly preferable to the UK Government’s idea of turning the area into a dumping ground for the MoD’s nuclear waste.
Pictured, Brain Richardson, Joan McAlpine, Professor Susan Roaf (School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University) and Dr Edward Owens (Senior Lecturer, School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University)