More than £26 million is being invested in a major initiative to accelerate the energy sector’s transition to net-zero emissions.
The Energy Transition Zone, which will be located adjacent to Aberdeen’s new £350 million south harbour development, is expected to directly support 2,500 green jobs by 2030, alongside a further 10,000 transition-related jobs.
The investment will come from the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund, a five-year financial package which was launched in June 2020 to support the oil, gas and energy sectors grow and diversify, whilst helping attract further private investment.
The Fund has already provided funding of £6.5 million for a Global Underwater Hub as well as £4.65 million to Aberdeen City Council to expand its hydrogen bus fleet.
Further funding announcements are expected to be made in the coming months.
Announcing the funding, Net Zero, Energy and Transport Secretary Michael 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.
“One year ago we launched the £62 million Energy Transition Fund, recognising the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, but also the need to support our energy sector to grow and transition in a fair way.
“Urgent, collective action is required in order to ensure a just transition to a net-zero economy. By capitalising on our strengths in energy, innovation and our skilled workforce, Scotland can show the rest of the world how it’s done – and ensure our people, businesses and communities are at the forefront of our new green economy.
“I am pleased to announce this financial support for the Energy Transition Zone, which is a hugely exciting project that promises to accelerate our journey to net-zero whilst, crucially, ensuring that journey is fair and creates a better future for everyone.”
Chief Executive of ETZ Ltd Maggie McGinlay said:
“The Scottish Government’s confirmation of financial support for the Energy Transition Zone is a welcome boost for Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland.
“ETZ Ltd’s clear ambition is to transform the region into a globally integrated energy cluster, focused on accelerating to net zero through energy transition activities. Today’s announcement, alongside the UK Government’s commitment of similar levels of funding toward the project, will help ensure this ambition becomes a reality.
“The North East is uniquely positioned within Scotland and the UK to take advantage of this great opportunity. As we continue to transition from oil and gas, the Energy Transition Zone will enable us to develop a world class supply chain and create significant new green employment and investment opportunities.
“There is a lot of work to be done in order to realise this ambition and this will include a programme of extensive engagement with the local communities and businesses to ensure the region’s energy transition ambitions are developed in line with the needs of the community, industry and investors.”
Find out more about the Energy Transition Zone. Key activities to be developed are likely to include offshore wind high value manufacturing and marshalling and assembly, a floating offshore wind centre of excellence, offshore hydrogen production landing facilities, green hydrogen test and demonstration facilities and high value manufacturing for hydrogen, facilities for trimodal refuelling and distribution, low carbon marine field test and demonstration facility, a UK clean fields meterology centre, applied R&D high value manufacturing, business incubation and scale-up, and an Energy Skills Academy Hub.
The £62 million Energy Transition Fund was launched on 12 June 2020. Further details are available on the Scottish Government website.
Fair Work principles are being applied across projects funded by the Energy Transition Fund, supporting the creation of green jobs and training individuals with the skills they need to ensure a just transition to net-zero that puts people’s wellbeing at the heart of our net-zero economy.
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