Two energy suppliers are bidding for funding from the EU to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at power stations in Scotland.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Ayrshire Power have unveiled plans to use the technology at a gas-fired station in Aberdeenshire and a coal-fired plant at Hunterston respectively.
CCS involves taking emissions generated by the plants and pumping them into an empty gas field rather than releasing them into the atmosphere.
Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, commented: "If long-term targets for reducing emissions are to be met, CCS technology must be applied as widely as possible.
"We therefore welcomed the UK government's decision to include a gas-fired generation plant in its CCS demonstration programme.
"However, the development of a commercial-scale CCS demonstration project presents significant challenges and will require appropriate levels of support from both the EU and UK government," he pointed out.
First minister Alex Salmond believes Scotland is "ideally placed" to become a leading country in CCS technology.
The EU's funding decision will be made at the end of 2012.
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