UK: OGTC, ORE Catapult Team Up to Speed Up Net-zero Emissions Drive

July 22, 2020

Equinor's Hywind Tampen wind farm illustration - Credit: Equinor
Equinor's Hywind Tampen wind farm illustration - Credit: Equinor

Two UK-based energy technology firms The Oil & Gas Technology Centre and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult are joining forces in a five-year collaboration aimed at speeding up the UK's transition to a net-zero future.

The partnership named Energy Transition Alliance (ETA), will, in collaboration with energy companies, strive to develop advanced technologies, including the next generation of hydrogen production, floating offshore wind, powering oil platforms from shore, and sustainable wind turbine decommissioning.

The ETA is funded in its first year by the OGTC and ORE Catapult, and will look to government and industry, among other sources, to secure funding for future years.

"This is a ground-breaking collaboration which aims to transform the energy sector, accelerating the UK’s transition to a net-zero future, ensuring a reliable and secure source of power for the UK and an indigenous and competitive 21st Century energy technology sector. Of vital importance to the future of the energy sector will be transition of supply chain, skills and workforce from the oil and gas sector to renewables," a joint statement released on Wednesday, reads.

The Energy Transition Alliance on Wednesday launched a program of five initial projects, which include: 

  • UK supply chain specific floating wind foundation competition: stimulating innovation in floating wind, to reduce the cost of floating foundations by 25-30%
  • AC/DC Footprint miniaturization: developing a prototype AC/DC conversion technology that reduces CO2, has a footprint 10x smaller and 5x cheaper than existing technologies and is anticipated to generate £7.7bn savings to industry
  • Power from shore: a call to industry for technologies which reduce the cost of power from shore, including cross-operator projects, and can help industry eliminate offshore platform CO2e emissions which currently represent 2% of the UK’s total CO2e emissions
  • UK offshore renewables supply chain deep-dive study: maximizing the full potential of the UK supply chain in the production, installation and decommissioning of offshore renewables, creating 27,000 jobs in offshore wind by 2030
  • Sustainable wind turbine decommissioning: developing a commercially viable solution for the cost-effective recycling and re-processing of wind turbine blades, which is expected to bring $1bn value to the market.

UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: "The UK’s innovation will drive a more sustainable oil and gas industry and the development of our world-leading renewables sector on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

"Collaboration across the energy sector will be essential to achieving our climate goals, and it is great to see the Energy Transition Alliance working towards developing new technologies, creating green jobs and helping the transition to a cleaner future."

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister said the new Alliance strongly complements the Scottish Government’s recently launched £62 million Energy Transition Fund, designed to support our energy sector and help us move more quickly towards net-zero by 2045. 

"The establishment of the Alliance also supports the work of our Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council to grow supply chain opportunities as we approach the forthcoming ScotWind leasing round," Wheelhouse said.

“The technologies supported by the Alliance will boost digitalization and automation and accelerate North Sea decarbonization as well as supporting Scotland’s aspirations for offshore wind and floating wind.

“This will benefit the wider Scottish energy sector and supply chain, maximise the economic benefits and support sustainable jobs in the long term, fully in line with our commitment to a just transition.

Colette Cohen, OGTC CEO said the creation of the alliance comes at a pivotal time for the industry and the future of the North Sea as "we transition to a net-zero basin."

"Technology, innovation, and a willingness to work cross-sector will be essential if we are to successfully deliver on our net-zero goal," Cohen said.

Andrew Jamieson, ORE Catapult Chief Executive said: “The energy transition to deliver net zero presents a massive opportunity for the UK. Innovation to meet the global demand for green energy technologies will ensure that we retain our world-leading position in offshore renewables, creating many thousands of jobs and significant economic growth”.

“Floating offshore wind, in particular, is an area of massive potential, and the oil and gas industry’s extensive experience of operating in the marine environment for many decades can be the enabler that ensures that the UK not only delivers a complete energy transition but also a sustainable, world-leading green energy industry.”


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