Scotland business

Call for north east of Scotland to be 'energy transition zone'

Wind power Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wind power will be one major area of focus

The north east of Scotland should become a world-leading 'energy transition zone' to help achieve Scotland's net-zero emissions ambition, businessman Sir Ian Wood has said.

Economic development agency Opportunity North East (One), which is chaired by Sir Ian, said the region's energy expertise needed to be harnessed.

This would focus on areas such as offshore wind and carbon capture.

Sir Ian said action and major investment was needed.

The Scottish government has set itself a legally-binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045, five years ahead of the date set for the UK as a whole.

Opportunity North East announced plans to work with partners including Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Harbour Board to create the energy transition zone (ETZ).

Image caption Sir Ian Wood there was a "huge opportunity" to transfer skills

Sir Ian said: "Urgent action supported by large scale investment is required if we're to meet Scottish and UK government net zero targets by 2045 and 2050.

"Our region has made an invaluable contribution to the UK's energy requirements over the last 50 years and we can now add to this with a significant contribution to the net zero objective."

'Key role'

He added: "There is a huge opportunity through the rapid transfer of oil and gas experience, assets and skills to accelerate the delivery of low carbon solutions as well as more carbon efficient oil and gas production."

Scotland's Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "The oil and gas industry has a key role to play in a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition.

"Initiatives like the ETZ could play a pivotal role in making that transition possible.

"The ETZ will help support new jobs, develop and diversify markets for the supply chain."

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