The integration of offshore energy systems, including oil and gas, renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, could contribute to deliver approximately 30% of the UK’s total carbon reduction requirements needed to meet the 2050 net zero target.
The Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) Energy Integration Project report, published today in collaboration with Ofgem, The Crown Estate and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), also highlights the additional potential for offshore renewables (wind, wave and tidal) to contribute approximately a further 30% towards the UK’s net zero target. This means the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) could support, in combination with complementary investments in onshore energy infrastructure, around 60% of the UK’s decarbonisation requirements.
There are over 30 energy integration projects already underway across the UKCS, with more than 10 actively being engaged by the OGA alongside this study.
Importantly, the report also concludes that not only is the close co-ordination of these technologies valuable in terms of energy production and cutting greenhouse gases, but that their integration would help technologies become economically more attractive.
Sir Ian Wood KT GBE, Chair of Opportunity North East said:
“We warmly congratulate OGA for its great work in the past two years in looking at energy integration opportunities. It highlights the huge potential in offshore wind and where blue and green hydrogen will fit in. Perhaps the most encouraging featuring is that the UKCS activities could achieve 60% of the UK’s decarbonisation requirements. That emphasises the importance of oil and gas, both operators and supply chain, allocating more resources to energy transition activities.
“The findings are aligned with our ambition to create a world-leading Energy Transition Zone in the North East of Scotland, which will build on our decades of offshore expertise to maximise new opportunities, such as the ScotWind leasing round.
“The expansion of offshore wind, growth of hydrogen as alternative fuel and development of carbon capture usage and storage infrastructure offer opportunities to diversify and expand our supply chain and create new jobs, new export opportunities and make a major contribution to Scottish and UK net zero targets.
“The OGA’s report outlines the steps and actions now required to move energy integration plans forward with pace and an oil and gas sector deal will be important in achieving our collective ambitions for green recovery. This is a pivotal moment and the North East of Scotland has crucial role to play, as a global integrated energy hub, and a leader in energy transition.”
OGA Chief Executive Dr Andy Samuel said:
“The UK Continental Shelf has the potential to make a deep and meaningful impact on the UK’s overall net zero target and offshore energy integration can be the game changer.
“By closely co-ordinating our energy systems a secure energy supply can continue to be delivered from a diverse mix of production, while unlocking more and more of the green energy and carbon capture needed to help take the UK to net zero.”
The full report can be viewed here
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