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18 June 2024
Renewable Energy

Offshore Energy Sector ‘Holds the Key to Net Zero Economy’

OEUK CEO, David Whitehouse

A ‘homegrown energy transition’ could create thousands of jobs and create a blueprint net zero economy for the world.

A new Economy & People 2024 report published by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) says that government decisions following next month’s General Election offer the opportunity to focus on a homegrown energy transition which could secure the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled people.

People currently employed in offshore oil and gas, wind and hydrogen energy production or carbon capture projects have highly transferable skills that are crucial to securing the UK’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it says.

David Whitehouse OEUK Chief Executive Officer said:

“Our report shows that the offshore industry could invest £450 billion in UK energy by 2040. The path to success is a homegrown energy transition that puts people at the heart of it, builds on our industrial strengths and drives collaboration across sectors.

“With supportive policy, the industry can deliver enduring economic value, scale up our supply chain capacity, sustain skilled jobs, deliver energy security, all while delivering on our climate goals.

“We are committed to ensuring the incoming government recognises the importance of our industry’s role in the economic future of the UK and the contribution of more than 200,000 people whose livelihoods depend on the sector.”

The report says the UK energy sector holds the key to achieving a homegrown net zero economy that will be a blueprint for the world.

Creating new opportunities for people and the economy starts with unlocking investment into projects across the offshore energy sector, it says. OEUK’s manifesto outlines the key steps government can take in partnership with industry to protect jobs and energy security and deliver cleaner and more affordable energy for the UK.

Ross Dornan

The report also suggests that:

  • With supportive policy, capital investment in homegrown offshore energy i.e. oil and gas, offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technology could increase by more than 50% from around £13 billion last year to more than £20 billion in the early 2030s. Collaboration across sectors and with governments is key to success.
  • Effective energy policy will create more high-quality jobs and economic benefit to communities across the country. More than 150,000 people are estimated to be in jobs directly or indirectly supported by oil, gas, offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon transport & storage. Job opportunities could increase by almost 50% across the sector by 2030, to 225,000.
  • Almost 80% of direct and indirect offshore energy employment is in oil and gas (120,500). When induced jobs are included oil and gas supported employment grows to almost 206,000.
  • The oil and gas sector supports around 1% of the value of the UK economy (£25 billion) and 1 in every 160 of its jobs. This contribution is significantly higher in key energy hubs around the UK. For example, in Scotland the industry is estimated to support around 1 in every 30 jobs (almost 84,000).
  • Oil and gas production has contributed £450 billion in production taxes in the last 50 years, including estimates from the Budget of Office Responsibility of £15 billion in the last two years.
  • Collaboration across industrial sectors and governments will aid skills development and career transfer pathways helping to give people access to new opportunities.

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