The potential for implementation of Negative Emission Technologies in Scotland

Juan Alcalde* (Corresponding Author), Pete Smith, R. Stuart Haszeldine, Clare E Bond

*Corresponding author for this work

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The reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission rates alone appears insufficient to limit the rise in global temperatures. Negative Emission Technologies (NETs) can be helpful in this critical goal by actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Industrialised countries like Scotland will require NETs to address their climate targets and reach net-zero carbon emissions in a timely manner. However, the implementation of NETs has varied energy, economic and environmental implications that need to be analysed in detail. In this paper, we explore the potential energy and economic costs for implementation of land-based NETs in Scotland. This analysis is based on the calculated averaged costs of the different technologies and the availability of resources for its implementation in Scotland. We found that the country has a maximum technical potential to abate 90–100% of its annual CO2 emissions by means of land-based NETs, thanks to its low annual emissions and large land area for implementation of NETs. Even in less optimistic scenarios, Scotland is exceptionally well suited for land NETs, which can complement and enhance the potential of more conventional technologies, like renewable energy resources. Our results show that Scotland could lead the transformation towards a carbon-neutral society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of greenhouse gas control
Early online date30 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

J. Alcalde and C.E. Bond were supported by ClimateXChange, on the project: Work stream on Perception and Communication of Risk and Uncertainty. The input of P. Smith contributes to the following projects: DEVIL (NE/M021327/1), MAGLUE (EP/M013200/1), U-GRASS (NE/M016900/1), Assess-BECCS (funded by UKERC) and Soils-RGRREAT (NE/P019455/1). R. S. Haszeldine is funded by the Scottish Government (SCCS 2017) and EPSRC EP/P026214/1.


  • negative emission technologies
  • bioenergy
  • carbon capture and storage
  • direct air capture
  • enhanced weathering
  • Afforestation-Reforestation
  • Soil Carbon Sequestration
  • biochar
  • Scotland


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