UK faces limited options for offshore energy ‘just transition’

A new study reveals that without urgent political alignment, the UK’s offshore energy industry faces a bleak future, with less than 0.3% of scenarios providing a “just and fair” transition by 2030A study by experts at Robert Gordon University has revealed concerning findings about the future of the UK’s offshore energy industry.

Analysing over 6,560 possible pathways for the sector up to 2030, the study indicates that less than 0.3% of these scenarios could ensure a “just and fair” transition.This could pose a significant challenge, particularly for Scotland‘s offshore workforce around Aberdeen.To maintain current job levels of over 150,000 by 2030, substantial efforts are needed, including daily installation of new offshore turbines, according to the report.

Additionally, the UK must sustain oil extraction levels and substantially increase offshore wind generation capacity to around 40GW by 2030.Professor Paul de Leeuw said: “The UK still has a unique opportunity to create a new energy future.

“Accelerating the re-purposing of the North Sea as a world-class, multi-energy basin will ensure the sector can power the country for decades to come. The prize for the UK to get this right is enormous.“But to deliver this requires action and urgency, which means faster planning and consenting and access to the grid.

“While there is consensus across all stakeholders including governments, politicians, industry organisations and economic development bodies that we need to realise a ‘just and fair’ transition, a far more agile and joined-up approach is required to address how the country can best secure its energy ambitions, while addressing the cost of living crisis, managing energy security and delivering on the net zero agenda.”