Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Transformation of energy sector will create opportunity

Hugh Little
Hugh Little

Since the late 1960s, when oil was first discovered in the North Sea, the 
north-east economy has developed and flourished around oil and gas.

For most of those 50-plus years, about 80% of all employment in the area has been dependent, directly and indirectly, on oil and gas. Energy is in the blood of most north-east entrepreneurs, in some way, shape or form.

But the long-term future of global energy is not in hydrocarbons. With the climate change agenda pushing us towards a net-zero emissions society, the shift will impact every part of our economy.

We are switching to the electrification of energy; wind, hydro, solar and geothermal hydrogen will become the primary sources, and the north-east will have to change to continue as one of the world’s energy capitals.

The Oil and Gas Technology Centre recently forecast that it will take £430 billion of investment over the next 30 years to meet the objectives of carbon capture and net-zero carbon emissions, while still satisfying the energy demands of the UK.

Alongside OGTC, there is significant innovation, technology development, and R&D going on at both Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University, and from these will come many early-stage businesses needing equity and other forms of finance to bring their disruptive technologies to commercial reality.

There is no doubt the combination of Covid-19 and the fast-moving climate change agenda has accelerated the focus on technology to transform energy production for the net-zero future.

Technologies required to switch, over time, from oil and gas to clean energy will be complex, so we need the best minds on it. Where better than Aberdeen, with a 50-year history of energy innovation, technology, expertise, and skills?

Success lies in harnessing those skills to evolve the north-east into a different, but equally exciting future. This is what makes now an opportune time for investment in Aberdeen and the north-east.

Change drives innovation and new ideas will form the backbone of our new economy. They are the currency that will fuel jobs and the energy support sector for years to come.

There is also a poetic full-circle – companies and individuals that made their money in oil and gas are using that capital to fund the future. The knowledge, experience and entrepreneurial capital they built up is being projected forward by way of support, mentoring and board guidance, as well as investment.

Aberdeen has a vastly different economy to the rest of Scotland. It has long been focused on energy and its ecosystem, and potentially will be for decades to come. The north-east must continue to invest in the innovation and the research and development which will fuel its future growth.

We will see huge change in our region over the next 20 or so years, creating countless opportunities for investment in innovative businesses which will be leading the way.

Hugh Little is chairman of Par Equity’s recently-launched Aberdeen Investment Network

Already a subscriber? Sign in