Former oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood has hailed plans passed by Aberdeen Council to establish the city as “a world-leader” in a low carbon economy.
Councillors approved the net zero city vision this week, which is seen as the path through Aberdeen’s move towards green energy.
The aim is to eradicate greenhouse gas emissions in Aberdeen, as the whole country looks to reach net-zero by 2045 – and a leading industry body said the plan passed this week is a “clear commitment” to achieving that.
Councillors have marked a site in Torry for a 70-acre energy transition zone (ETZ), which could be home to developing environmentally friendly energy industries.
Having brought forward plans for the ETZ in March, Sir Ian, the chairman of economic development body Opportunity North East (One) said: “We welcome the announcement of Aberdeen City Council’s net zero vision and its commitment to becoming a leader in the net zero economy.
“Aberdeen has a unique opportunity to harness the skills, technology expertise and industrial base developed over the last 50 years of the North Sea to lead the energy transition.
“The ETZ will be a key part of delivering the ambition of creating a globally integrated energy cluster and the project will be a catalyst for attracting future investment in the region.”
The net zero city vision is hoped to show Aberdeen can be a world-leader in energy transition projects, speed up the rate of the world’s move to low or zero carbon energy sources and make the city an “exemplar” in efforts to tackle global warming.
The plans have been brought during a time of turmoil in the oil and gas industry, which has prompted calls for both governments to support the region’s effort to lessen reliance on the volatile market.
Council co-leader Jenny Laing said last night: “We want to do this at pace as we have a window of opportunity just now to have Aberdeen at the forefront of the transition.
“Covid-19 has brought a sharp focus on environmental issues and research bodies have called on government to make sure any investment to kick-start the economy, is green investment.
“With our existing oil and gas expertise, the innovation around hydrogen projects and the benefits of the harbour development we think there is a really strong narrative for Aberdeen to be forefront of this.”
Key to achieving that will be transferring skilled workers from the oil and gas industry into the renewables sector.
The Oil And Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) Stephen Sheal said: “Aberdeen is a world-leader in oil and gas innovation and it has the people, technology and skills needed to transform the north-east for the low carbon future.
“Aberdeen City Council’s net zero vision is a clear commitment to making that future a reality.
“At the OGTC, we’re partnering with industry and across sectors to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies that will enable the transition to net zero.
“By aligning innovation across the oil and gas and renewable sectors, we can re-imagine and deliver an energy system to achieve a net zero UK, delivering a truly integrated energy vision for the North Sea.”