Up to £416 billion of investment into a net zero energy system is needed over the next 30 years if the UK is to remain a “global energy leader” as the world decarbonises.
That’s the forecast from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, which suggest this would help create as many as 100,000 jobs in the North Sea by 2050.
In a new report, the organisations predict employment positions in the region’s energy sector are to plummet by at least a fifth in the coming years if this does not happen and suggest if investment is ploughed into accelerating the growth of floating offshore wind, green and blue hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS), it could boost the UK economy by as much as £125 billion each year, a 200% increase from today’s figures.
They note this would also support around 232,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2050, 66% more than currently exist in the North Sea.
The report warns if this investment is not delivered, the UK risks “rapidly becoming a buyer – rather than a supplier – of green energy, green technology and green jobs”, which it highlights would likely leave “huge economic value on the table”.
Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng MP said: “I welcome this report and its ambitious vision to help transition the North Sea offshore oil and gas sector towards a Net Zero future. Protecting highly skilled jobs in the oil and gas industry is important to our net-zero aspirations, as we need the same skills, businesses and infrastructure to underpin net-zero solutions.
“That’s why we have committed to supporting the energy transition with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal and I look forward to working alongside industry to deliver on our world-leading target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”