A multi-million pound fund has been set up by the Scottish government to help the energy sector recover from the dual economic impacts of COVID-19 and the oil and gas price crash. The £62 million Energy Transition Fund will support businesses in the oil, gas and energy sectors over the next five years as they grow and diversify and will help attract private sector investment in the region.
The investment, with a focus on the Northeast, underpins the region’s ambitions to become a world leader in the transition to net zero, helping Scotland meet its ambitious targets on climate change.
Major projects to be considered for funding include a global underwater hub, net-zero solution center projects, a hydrogen hub, the Acorn project and an energy transition zone.
The investment will also benefit the wider Scottish energy sector and supply chain, working with local businesses to support sustainable jobs and maximize inclusive economic growth across the country.
“This is an extremely difficult time for our business community, and we recognize the need to do all we can to help the recovery of key sectors of the economy and Scotland’s regions,” Fiona Hyslop, Economy Secretary, said. “This package of investment for the Northeast will support our energy sector as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and will help us make significant progress as we move towards net zero by 2045.”
“Aberdeen is recognized globally as a centre of excellence in oil and gas and this funding will help ensure that the knowledge, skills and expertise it has to offer will play a vital role in the energy transition,” she added. “It is vital we move quickly to seize the opportunity to take forward a green, low-carbon recovery and support the workforce as the energy sector diversifies. Now is an opportune time to reimagine the Scotland around us and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy focused on wellbeing.”
“We very much welcome today’s timely funding announcement from the Scottish government to help strengthen the Northeast of Scotland’s growing position as a global integrated energy transition cluster creating a lot of employment over the next 20 years,” Sir Ian Wood, Chair of Opportunity – North East, said.
“The support from the Scottish government today is good news for jobs, supply chain companies and energy communities,” Deirdre Michie, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive, said. “This significant funding recognizes the essential role of Scotland’s offshore oil and gas industry in realizing a net zero Scotland by 2045.”
“The creation of this fund to accelerate the transition of the energy sector to a new and exciting net zero future is very welcome news,” Colette Cohen, Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said. “We look forward to working with industry and government to deliver these exciting programs and make sure the North East of Scotland continues to be a leader in technology and innovation for the net zero economy.”
The £62 million funding package is available to support net zero projects, including:
- A global underwater hub in Aberdeen focused on helping the subsea and underwater sector grow with a focus on diversification and export support;
- A new energy transition zone business park adjacent to the Aberdeen South Harbour; and
- A range of innovation projects led by Oil and Gas Technology Centre’s Net Zero Solution Center.
The fund will also position the Northeast of Scotland as a hydrogen model region, contributing early funding to projects including ACORN CCS & ACORN Hydrogen; Aberdeen Vision; and the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub.
The Scottish government will also work with the UK government and industry to ensure funding supports an oil and gas sector deal.