Oil and gas doyen Sir Ian Wood has urged the public and private sectors to work collectively and quickly to ensure “meaningful progress” is made while responding to the climate change emergency.
At the end of January, north-east economic development body Opportunity North East (One), revealed plans for an Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) to drive the delivery of net-zero solutions.
One say the concept has had “significant support” from the private sector and local and national government.
After the publication of the proposed Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2020 by the council, One chairman Sir Ian said he is now urging stakeholders to unite around the region’s response to the climate emergency.
One believes the policy for the ETZ, outlined in the proposed Local Development Plan, will help to realise Scotland and the UK’s net-zero targets.
They also claim the ETZ will make a significant contribution to Aberdeen’s economy as it transitions and diversifies to a broader energy focus.
He said: “This is an important moment for the city. The region is one of the first in the UK to put forward plans that demonstrate a proactive response to what is a climate crisis.
“Our region is faced with a transformational opportunity to make a significant contribution to realising net-zero targets and secure the future for our local economy and future generations. The future is in our hands.”
It is hoped the ETZ will use the region’s energy expertise to help transition to net-zero, to fast-track the development and deployment of offshore wind, hydrogen, and carbon capture, usage and storage, and increase the pace and scale of investment in the north-east’s existing, fast-growing integrated energy cluster.
One say there will also be opportunities for local people, including communities in Torry and Cove, to engage with the ETZ proposal.
Residents raise concerns about impact of Energy Transition Zone
Concerns have been raised about the development of the ETZ which would be built across about 70 acres of green space and industrial estates.
Aberdeen Council officers working on the latest local development plan (LDP), due to be discussed today, have identified the south-east of Aberdeen, close to the new South Harbour development, as a possible base for the energy industry of the future.
It is hoped that by zoning the land in the LDP for the development of low to zero-carbon or renewable energy industries, such as businesses focusing on the wind, biomass, solar or tidal sectors, Aberdeen will remain a key energy city in a post-fossil fuel world.
But fears have been raised about the loss of key green areas for the community of Torry and Cove Bay as a result of the proposed development, as some of the areas proposed for the ETZ include St Fittick’s Park and the Doonies Rare Breeds Farm.
SNP councillor for Torry and Ferryhill Audrey Nicoll has previously said it “seems totally unreasonable” to propose destroying St Fittick’s Park, the last bit of green space in Torry.
One said benefits of the transition zone “will ensure it will enhance the job, skills and training opportunities in the area and boost its long-term prosperity”.
Sir Ian Wood added: “Delivering the regional net-zero ambition must provide an outcome that benefits everyone in the city and especially the communities that are local to the proposed ETZ.
“The city region can make the energy transition happen by leveraging its onshore and offshore infrastructure, energy companies and global supply chain, research and development capabilities, and highly skilled
“Building on these strengths will leverage 50 years’ of oil and gas experience and offset the economic impact of the forecast decline in UKCS oil and gas production over the next 20 to 30 years.”