THE UK’s energy and business secretary has said he is "certain" that the Acorn carbon cutting site in Scotland should get the go ahead for development in the next few years.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng said he is "very much looking forward" to developing the site in the north-east of Scotland, despite it being snubbed yesterday.

He also claimed it has been given £30million to establish carbon cutting.

Hopes that the pioneering carbon capture and storage cluster will be developed in Scotland were dealt a heavy blow yesterday, with the HyNet site in the Northwest of England being chosen instead.

Mr Kwarteng today branded the Acorn site as a "reserve cluster" in the radio interview.

READ MORE: Aberdeenshire carbon cluster could create sustainable jobs

He said: “Acorn was a strong bid, it has been chosen as a reserve cluster, and it will almost certainly be developed in the next few years, its just that we had a two phase system.

"We gave two sites the go-ahead yesterday and will give two sites the go-ahead in the next few years.

“The clusters were examined very thoroughly, and it was found that the HyNet cluster in the Northwest, was very well placed to go ahead and that is the decision we made.”

The clusters involve storing carbon dioxide emissions from across Scotland in depleted North Sea reservoirs, and Acorn was expected to be chosen as a priority in the UK Government backed programme.

READ MORE: COP26 road closures in full with severe disruption set to start this week

Only a few weeks ago Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish conservatives were dropping hints that great news would be coming for the site in Acorn.

After being questioned about if Mr Johnson was being misleading about this, Mr Kwarteng said the decision was "a competitive process", repeating that "I think Acorn is very well placed".



However, yesterday’s decision to snub Acorn in favour of HyNet came as a big surprise to people in Scotland, with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford saying the decision was a "complete betrayal".

Mr Blackford compared it to a similar decision made back in 2014, when £1billion was set to be given to Scotland for carbon capture and storage, before being scrapped.

The sites to be given the go-ahead yesterday were HyNet in the northwest of England, and on the east coast in Humber. It is part of the UK’s plans to reach net-zero by 2050.