MORE than £33 million of investment in transitioning the North Sea oil and gas industry to cleaner hydrogen energy is expected to create 21,000 jobs by 2050.
The Scottish Government has handed over £16.5 million to the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) to propel forward a host of transition projects. The funding will be matched by the oil and gas industry.
The Scottish Government investment has been allocated from the previously announced energy transition fund.
The £62 million energy transition fund was launched in June 2020, totalling £62 million. The pot has already provided £26 million for an energy transition zone in Aberdeen, £6.5 million for a global underwater hub and £4.65 million to the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub.
Seven projects will be developed through the centre’s net zero technology transition programme which will modernise the North Sea energy system – focusing on reducing emissions.
Projects include the production of low-carbon hydrogen energy to work with Scotland’s offshore wind sector and developing infrastructure to export hydrogen – using existing energy pipelines – across Europe.
In order to contribute to net zero targets, the low carbon hydrogen would likely need to use carbon capture and storage technology it mitigate emissions.
Scotland has committed to become carbon net zero by 2045 and cut 1990 levels of emissions by 75% by 2030.
The Scottish Government claims the programme will deliver £403 billion for the economy and create 21,000 jobs by 2050.
Net Zero and Energy Secretary, Michael Matheson, announced the investment during a visit to Aberdeen South Harbour, where he held talks with the partners alongside other key North-East energy stakeholders to discuss the sector’s transition to net-zero.
Mr Matheson said: “The Scottish Government is wholly committed to ending our contribution to climate change by 2045 and doing so in a way that ensures a just transition to net-zero, making sure no-one is left behind.
“We want to secure jobs for the energy workforce and create new jobs in the north east – and across Scotland – by seizing the huge opportunities our energy transition and wider journey to net-zero present.
“The energy transition fund is helping the energy sector to grow and diversify and accelerate the journey to net-zero and underpin the north-east’s ambitions to become a world leader in this transition.
“This funding will help the NZTC, working with industry and academia, to help grow Scotland’s role as a global leader in net zero technology solutions, delivering security of energy supply, diversifying the sector, and creating the next generation of highly skilled, green jobs.”
The Net Zero Technology Centre’s CEO, Colette Cohen, said: “This is an important milestone for the Net Zero Technology Centre which will drive the development of key technologies for green growth in Scotland and the UK, create jobs, attract investment and help establish a world-class net zero supply chain.
“The funding will unlock some of the technology and innovation required to deliver an affordable net zero energy industry, and we are delighted to see industry and government supporting this national ambition.”
Chief executive of Oil and Gas UK, Deirdre Michie, said: “The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry is changing and this is further recognition of its essential expertise in meeting the governments’ net zero emissions targets.
“This is welcome support for the Net Zero Technology Centre and for the many companies in our sector which are pioneering homegrown greener energy while continuing to support the UK’s ongoing oil and gas demand.”