Closing the Gap : Technology for a Net Zero North Sea
- Sep 20, 2021 8:33 am GMT
The unique attributes of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and the UK’s advanced energy sector give the region a head start in developing net zero industries. Investing in low carbon technologies and establishing an integrated energy system will be pivotal to achieving the legally binding net zero 2050 target for the UKCS and the wider economy.
As the UKCS transitions, oil and gas will naturally deplete, but this will be more than offset by growth in offshore renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). This could more than double the economic impact of the UKCS, contributing £2.5 trillion to the UK economy and creating over 200,000 new jobs. Creating an integrated energy system on the UKCS requires investment of £430 billion, with £270 billion expected to be spent in the UK.
Over the next 15 years, the investment profile is dominated by oil and gas and offshore wind, each requiring £75 billion in capital investment, around half of which is expected to be spent in the UK. As climate change policy progresses not only in the UK, but also in Europe and further afield, there will be an increasing number of opportunities for the UK to export low carbon technologies, products and expertise, emulating the success of the oil and gas sector. To realise this opportunity we need to invest with pace.
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