Jean Morrison, chairperson of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), broadly welcomed the focus on UK renewable energy projects and is pleased to see the Acorn project named as a ‘leading contender’ for Track 2 funding within the Government strategy.
She said: “It’s reassuring to see the Acorn Project in St Fergus named as a “leading contender” within today’s Powering up Britain Strategy and the sooner government can confirm this the better.
After being side-lined for government funding in 2021, we are pleased to see the Acorn scheme, which is one of the most advanced of its kind in the UK, in line for investment along with the Viking project in Humberside.
Acorn will help bring in vital private investment, create new green jobs and build a pipeline of CCS projects that will play a critical role in helping the UK meet its aims to reduce carbon pollution.
We welcome the announcement of the first 20 projects which are proceeding to the next stage of the process for the first electrolytic hydrogen allocation round (HAR1), including five Scottish projects, which help put us on the path to achieving the Scottish Government ambition of 5 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen by 2030. This rapidly growing sector has the potential to support 300,000 jobs by 2045 and contribute up to £25bn a year to the Scottish economy.
The launch of a Great British Insulation Scheme, extension of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme until 2028 and the introduction of a Heat Pump Investment Accelerator, are all part of the Government’s announcement today. Helping people stay warm in their homes and reducing energy costs not only eases the burden on families and individuals who are struggling with the cost of energy but benefits the environment as well.
Although disappointing that the car manufacturer mandate has been delayed, increased investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure will make owning electric cars more accessible for the average person and supports decarbonisation of the transport sector.
The challenges to develop a net zero future and to work towards enhanced current provision with new energy solutions will really need joined up thinking that goes beyond multiple UK and Scottish parliament terms and one of the biggest challenges will be informing and preparing the public for the changes coming to how we power everyday life, work and travel – so consultation and engagement will be key.
With 50 years’ expertise in the oil and gas sector, two leading academic institutions helping to facilitate collaboration across industry, government, and research as well as proximity to important infrastructure and facilities, now is the time to pull together as a region and capitalise on the opportunities with CCS, hydrogen, and offshore wind, to realise our potential as a global leader in transition.
“AREG will continue to support its members and associates, who will play a leading role in developing the foundations and networks necessary for these emerging renewables markets.”
AREG is one of the original energy transition organisations and represents more than 280 member organisations, enabling net zero. www.aberdeenrenewables.com