The proposed new generation of 'clean coal' power stations could create thousands of engineering jobs in the North East of England.
Speaking as he announced the launch of a new consultation process aimed at developing efficient carbon capture storage (CCS) technology, energy secretary Ed Miliband revealed that clean coal facilities could support between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs nationally and generate £4 billion a year for the economy by 2030.
He stated that clean coal represents a "big industrial opportunity", with regional experts pointing out that the north-east is well-placed to meet the demands of a surge in engineering and construction recruitment.
Professor Dermot Roddy, from Newcastle University's Sir Joseph Swan energy research centre, spoke to the Evening Gazette.
He said: "The Government is looking for four sites to set up carbon capture and storage power stations, and across the region we have been working on a pre-combustion method of CCS, which sets us aside from many others but is the type ministers have said they are looking for.
"There is a lot of potential in the region for jobs and investment."
It is currently estimated that CCS technology could help to reduce a power plant's carbon emissions by as much as 90 per cent.