Research from Robert Gordon University (RGU) has found that around 26,000 new energy jobs could be created by 2030 due to investments in low-carbon technologies in the offshore sector.

The research was commissioned by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) under the North Sea Transition Deal, a 2021 agreement between the offshore oil and gas industry and the UK Government. 

RGU examined the potential benefits of three new, rapidly developing energy technologies: mass production of hydrogen as a fuel source; carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS); and the electrification of offshore platforms to reduce emissions from oil and gas productions.

The research also forms part of the energy industry’s response to the UK’s energy security strategy targets, which were announced last April. If these targets are met, coastal regions such as East Anglia, north-east England and Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales could be flourishing with new jobs. The RGU research notes that the 26,000 new jobs that could be created would be equivalent to 15% of the current offshore workforce.

OEUK’s director of supply chain and operations, Katy Heidenreich said, “This study shows that the offshore energy workforce in the UK is at the heart of the energy transition”.

If the British Energy Security Strategy targets are met by 2030, there could be considerable benefits for the UK. The UK has the potential to store around 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide underground every year, and aims to produce 10 gigawatts of hydrogen, roughly equivalent to 10 large power stations. For offshore, in particular, the targets include running 10 offshore oil and gas platforms on low-carbon electricity.

“The proposed carbon dioxide transport and storage facilities supported by this bill will establish a new CCUS industry across the UK which could support up to 50,000 jobs by 2030”, reads in the Energy Security Bill.