Survey finds transition in action in Scotland as majority of energy businesses involved in low carbon and renewables

David Rennie (Scottish Enterprise)

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A NEW report published by Scottish Enterprise surveying the low carbon and renewable energy sector in Scotland has found that over 75% of energy companies are operating in the greener energy space.

Findings include:

  • Three in four energy businesses are already involved in low carbon and renewable energy with wind, carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen the key areas
  • Energy companies say they are likely to be established in the key areas in five years and to experience rapid growth in the next decade, especially around hydrogen
  • Those not involved yet say they plan to soon with wind being the greatest area of interest for diversification of energy companies
  • Businesses also identify clear opportunities to expansion in low carbon and renewable energy such as in CCUS and hydrogen in terms of the scale but also key challenges, including investment and uncertainty

The research looked at participation in the low carbon and renewable energy sector overall and highlighted three key areas of involvement in wind, CCUS and hydrogen.

Those energy firms not already involved in low carbon and renewable energy, over half have expressed a desire, or are already planning to enter these markets, with wind, CCUS and hydrogen again touted as areas of interest.

Expro whose headquarters are in Aberdeen was one of the companies surveyed for the report and has set its own goals to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and supporting its customers’ carbon reduction through its services too.

Director of portfolio advancement at Expro Ingrid Huldal said: “There are a number of benefits to operating in the low carbon and renewable energy sector.

“Collective action is needed from across all industries, government and consumers to address the challenges of climate change. We must all play our part.”

Head of low carbon energy at Scottish Enterprise David Rennie said: “The research shows transition in action as energy businesses grasp opportunities around renewables and Scottish Enterprise will use the findings to support our work.

“From Scotwind, to exporting clean hydrogen to Europe as well as developing CCUS projects there are many opportunities to tap into Scottish talent and we are collaborating with developers and industry partners for a greener economy driven by innovation, investment and internationalisation.”

The low carbon and renewable energy research was supported by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Director of policy and marketing at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce Ryan Crighton said: “The climate crisis – thrown into sharp focus by COP26 last year – has brought about an unprecedented opportunity for our country to become the pioneers who will unlock the low carbon technologies of the future.

“Winning a prize this big was never going to be easy. The challenges outlined in this report are equal in scale to the opportunities. Essentially, we need to deliver the reindustrialisation of Scotland to make sure we capitalise on our green energy potential.”

The low carbon and renewable energy report included a review of energy market data and found that Scotland’s low carbon and renewable energy sector economy is worth £5.5bn.

Statistics from Rystad Energy included in the report highlight that sector spending on carbon capture and storage (CCS) developments is set to rise this decade, quadrupling from 2022 to 2025 and Europe will dominate the CCUS market by 2030.

The opportunities in clean hydrogen have also been assessed by Scottish Government that published its draft hydrogen action plan last year with over £100 million of funding commitments and ambition for Scotland to have 5GW of clean hydrogen generation by 2030 and at least 25GW by 2045.

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