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Prime time to put transition in focus

AREG chairwoman Jean Morrison
AREG chairwoman Jean Morrison

In these difficult times, it is challenging to manage day-to-day business as well as thinking to the future. Clearly, we have seen rapid and significant changes to business operations and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg) members and others are under greater pressure than ever to deliver results.

Our members have told us that the biggest business barriers they face are linked to information on projects in development, access to buyers, skills and government policy/regulation.

We will support them to overcome these barriers and play their full part in the future energy industry, including achieving the energy transition.

I still believe that the energy transition needs to remain one of the top priorities for us all as we look to the future. This time of crisis opens a door for a fundamental and far-reaching transformation for our members, our industry and beyond.

For example, with the reliance on fossil fuels falling during recent weeks, renewables have now grasped a 43% share of power generation in the UK. According to figures from the Wartsila Energy Transition Lab, this is a 10% increase when compared to the same period (March 10 to April 10) in 2019.

We are in a period of significant change in the power sector, which has contributed to a drop of almost 20% in carbon emissions intensity in the UK when compared to this period last year. This is the prime time to grasp new opportunities within the energy transition.

With decades of experience and knowledge, Areg members as well as the wider north-east sector are not only well placed to deliver on the energy transition but also to attract investment and create jobs for the region that we will need for the future.

A recent announcement from Aberdeen City Council set out the infrastructure that will help us to do so. The authority has approved plans to earmark land in Torry for the development of Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone (ETZ).

Adjacent to the new South Harbour development, the ETZ will be a collaborative environment, designed to fast-track investment in the development of renewable energy technologies. Set to include more than 30 hectares of land, companies with a focus on sustainable energy will be able to make use of the space in the zone.

Areg recognises the ETZ as a key initiative to increase the production and use of clean energy.

This new zone is an exciting project for our members as it provides a tangible base for energy transition focused business in our area. Scheduled to open next year, its unveiling will mark the transition of our energy industry and its transformational contribution to our city’s economy going forward.

In the shorter term, Areg will introduce a webinar-based event programme to continue to bring our industry insights and high-profile speakers to you so that you can keep up with key trends, projects, market intelligence and other information to inform you and your business.

Engaging with both members and non-members on the opportunities within the energy transition, we can work towards the energy transition and face our challenges together.

Jean Morrison is chair of Areg

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