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£62m fund announced for energy sector in Scotland
A multi-million pound fund has been set up to help the energy sector in Scotland recover from the dual economic impacts of coronavirus and the oil and gas price crash.
The £62m energy transition fund from the Scottish government will support businesses in the oil, gas and energy sectors over the next five years as they grow and diversify and will help to attract private sector investment in the region.
The investment, with a focus on the North East of Scotland, underpins the region’s ambitions to become a world leader in the transition to net zero. Major projects to be considered for funding include a global underwater hub, a new energy transition zone business park adjacent to the Aberdeen South Harbour, a range of net zero solution centre projects led by the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, a hydrogen hub in Aberdeen and the Acorn hydrogen project.
The investment will also benefit the wider Scottish energy sector and supply chain, working with local businesses to support sustainable jobs and maximise inclusive economic growth across the country. In addition, the Scottish government will work with the UK government and industry to ensure funding supports an oil and gas sector deal.
Economy secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This is an extremely difficult time for our business community and we recognise the need to do all we can to help the recovery of key sectors of the economy and Scotland’s regions. This package of investment for the North East will support our energy sector as it recovers from the impact of Covid-19 and will help us make significant progress as we move towards net zero by 2045.
“Aberdeen is recognised globally as a centre of excellence in oil and gas and this funding will help ensure that the knowledge, skills and expertise it has to offer will play a vital role in the energy transition.
“It is vital we move quickly to seize the opportunity to take forward a green, low-carbon recovery and support the workforce as the energy sector diversifies. Now is an opportune time to re-imagine the Scotland around us and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy focused on wellbeing.”
Jo Bamford, executive chairman of Ryse Hydrogen, recently announced his vision to deliver 3,000 state-of-the-art hydrogen-powered buses across the UK by 2024, which he believes will kick start the green hydrogen economy, potentially creating 1,000 green jobs. He issued a statement following the news saying: “We praise the Scottish government on its investment in zero-carbon energy, and particularly its pledge to fund a hydrogen hub at Aberdeen.
“The energy transition fund will be critical in attracting private investment in exciting new technologies. Ryse Hydrogen is exploring numerous opportunities to set up a green hydrogen production plant in the Aberdeen area, and our partners Wrightbus are already committed to delivering hydrogen-powered buses to the city later this year.”