UK regulator Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has said that the integration of offshore energy with clean energy technologies could contribute to 30% of the UK’s net-zero targets by the year 2050.

According to a report published by OGA, this can be primarily achieved through carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of hydrogen production.

Produced in collaboration with UK energy regulator Ofgem, the Crown Estate, and the UK’s governmental Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the report highlighted that the close integration would not only be valuable for reducing emissions and energy production, but would also help the emerging technologies become more ‘economically attractive’.

OGA chief executive Andy Samuel said: “The UK Continental Shelf has the potential to make a deep and meaningful impact on the UK’s overall net-zero target and offshore energy integration can be the game-changer.

“By closely co-ordinating our energy systems a secure energy supply can continue to be delivered from a diverse mix of production, while unlocking more and more of the green energy and carbon capture needed to help take the UK to net-zero.”

OGA also noted that there are already over 30 energy integration projects currently underway across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), with more than ten of these actively engaged by the OGA for the study.

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UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “It is great to see this report set out a clear path towards net-zero, highlighting that the offshore energy sector has the capacity to help deliver huge carbon reductions.

“Sharing existing expertise and infrastructure from the oil and gas industry will be integral in the development of our outstanding renewable energy sector, helping us meet our climate change commitments.”

In March last year, OGA secured a $1.1m grant from the Better Regulation Executive’s Regulator’s Pioneer Fund to begin a project that will explore the potential of a more integrated offshore energy sector.