18 May 2011 Last updated at 02:55
More than 5,000 Scottish jobs could be created if three proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes go ahead, according to a new study.
Scottish Enterprise has looked at the potential economic impact of CCS projects at Longannet, Peterhead and Hunterston.
The research also suggests CCS developments could boost Scotland's economy by more than£3bn.
The findings are being presented at an energy conference in Aberdeen.
CCS is a process involving the capture of CO2 (carbon dioxide) from power plants and other industrial sources for safe storage in sites such as depleted oil and gas fields.
The proposed CCS facilities at Longannet in Fife, Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and Hunterston in Ayrshire, if fully developed, would test and demonstrate the technical and commercial aspects of CCS technology.
The Scottish Enterprise study found that up to 4,600 jobs could be created during the construction phase of the projects to 2020, with a further 454 operational jobs supported when the sites were up and running.
Another key finding of the research, published at the All Energy conference, was that the CCS projects could boost the Scottish economy by £2.75bn, generating an additional £535m per year during their operational lifetime.
Hunterston would benefit most from jobs during construction, as the project is linked to a controversial plan to build a new coal-burning power station.
However, it would be worth less than half of the £270m annual economic value of Longannet.'Immediate benefits'
Adrian Gillespie, from Scottish Enterprise, said: "CCS is acknowledged as having an important role to play in supporting Scotland's ambitious emission reduction targets, however, to become commercially viable, demonstration projects such as the three proposed Scottish projects are critical.
"The far-reaching impacts revealed in this study underline the potential of carbon capture and storage, not only in long term economic and environmental terms but also in the shorter term, delivering significant immediate benefits for the Scottish economy."
He added: "We want to see a number of CCS demonstration projects developed in Scotland and are working with our partners in industry, in the UK Government and in Europe to help make that happen."
Scotland is recognised as having a competitive advantage in CCS and the potential to become a global leader in the field.
It has been estimated, in separate research, that CCS could support up to 13,000 new jobs by 2025, including exporting Scottish-based skills and technology across the world.
The three Scottish based demonstration projects are still all in the running to secure EU funding from the New Entrants' Reserve programme, which has been developed to support low carbon demonstration projects across Europe.