The Aberdeen City Region has long been renowned as a global energy hub, critical both in terms of UK energy security and in leading the energy transition, as it draws on a world class oil and gas sector and reputable supply chain.
Aberdeen has been at the heart of Europe's oil and gas operations for many years - known as the Oil and Gas Capital of Europe - and is now leveraging this expertise to transform into a world leader of renewable energy production and distribution.
The North East has tangible energy transition plans that leverage the region's unique cluster of assets and resources. 80% of all UK direct oil and gas employment is in North East Scotland, and over 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have medium to high skills transferability and are well positioned to work in adjacent energy sectors, making the North East a key energy transition region.
With a rapidly growing hydrogen economy, Aberdeen is the UK's leading hydrogen city. The city hosts 85 Hydrogen Vehicles, including the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus, and two publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations - one of the largest and most varied fleets of hydrogen vehicles in Europe.
Founded in 2021, ETZ Ltd is a private sector-led, not-for-profit company. ETZ was created to drive forward the vision of transforming the North East to become a global leader in energy transition activities, as well as a net exporter of energy transition technologies and skills.
At the core of ETZ Ltd is the ambition to deliver the Energy Transition Zone, a purpose-built net zero green space, connected to the North Sea coastline and adjacent to Port of Aberdeen’s newly completed £420 million South Harbour.
The 250-hectare site will be a leading-edge catalyst for innovation and high value manufacturing, a centre of excellence for offshore floating wind farm technology, and other offshore renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
The North East is one of the most attractive locations in Europe to develop and accelerate low carbon projects and activities, particularly offshore wind.
Crown Estate Scotland recently awarded ScotWind and INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) licensing to offshore wind projects in the region. ScotWind projects include fixed and floating fields with a total capacity of 27.6GW. Three-quarters of the fields are within 100 nautical miles of Aberdeen and a number of the licence holders have already committed to locating significant offshore wind operation centres in the region, demonstrating the North East’s potential to become a global player in offshore wind technologies.
The Moray East Offshore Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance Centre is based at Fraserburgh Harbour. With 100 turbines, the Moray East offshore windfarm is the largest operational wind farm in Scotland, with enough output to supply clean energy to more than 40% of Scottish households.
These opportunities will significantly improve investment and supply chain opportunities in the North East, as well as help decarbonise North Sea oil and gas operations.
Located at the St. Fergus gas terminal, the Acorn project is Scotland’s first carbon capture and storage facility. The facility will repurpose legacy oil and gas infrastructure to transport captured industrial CO2 to a safe, permanent storage location under the North Sea. The project is expected to create 21,000 jobs in the first phase of development.
Acorn was recently awarded Track 2 status of the UK Government’s Carbon Capture, Usage Storage cluster sequencing process. This achievement will help accelerate the support and delivery of the project and bring Scotland and the UK closer to meeting its carbon reduction targets.