News ahead of tomorrow’s Budget that Scottish businesses are set to receive a boost to energy transition efforts have been widely welcomed by our industry.
With more than £57m of investment expected to help create local jobs in key sectors and a welcome nod towards the North Sea Transition Deal, it signals further recognition by governments of our ambitions to play a positive role in the country’s energy future.
In a year where COP26 will draw international attention towards the UK, we are showing how oil and gas producing countries can lead the way with a fair transition which supports jobs, businesses and communities.
We’re an industry with experience and with a promising future. Over the past 50 years, we’ve continued to provide affordable and secure energy and products to millions of households. Our supply chain, developed in the North East Scotland and in industrial heartlands across the UK, has developed skills and technologies which are exported across the world.
The North Sea Transition deal, a cooperation of commitment between our sector and the UK government, will provide a prime opportunity to once again help transform our energy future, making us leaders in the low-carbon energy revolution with the development of an underwater hub and continued collaboration between companies in the Energy Transition Zone.
We currently support around 151,600 direct and indirect jobs in the UK and contribute £26 billion to the UK economy, including £11.5 billion in exports in 2018. The jobs, resources, expertise, and the energy security we bring cannot stop here. We have grown to be a valuable cog for the UK economy; and we hold the key to unlocking great sustainability solutions.
Government leaders have now recognised the key part we can play – as evidenced by the ongoing negotiation of a deal which will completely change the outlook for our energy communities as oil and gas demand gradually declines and the need for carbon neutrality expands. The sponsorship and support we have proposed, in partnership with government, will pivot our innovation, boosting the prospects for a homegrown energy transition that will see the UK pave the way for a successful net zero economy.
In the past, it’s been argued that the UK has struggled to make the most of the opportunities presented by the energy transition, with foreign sectors developing capabilities in their own markets, such as offshore wind, which they then could offer the UK on a competitive basis. Our existing supply chain are already starting to pivot – we must seize the moment and now act in timely unison and at pace to ensure we can capitalise on the opportunities new low-carbon infrastructure can bring, such as Carbon Capture and Storage and Hydrogen, which we are uniquely placed to develop.
Governments’ support for the supply chain and our industry will help us compete for such exciting opportunities. Supporting the UK supply chain at these early stages will be vital to anchoring skills and quality jobs in the UK and providing energy security and resilience in the face of global competition. We hope the budget reflects the needs of our country in tackling climate change through collaboration rather than separation.