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Happy New Year!

11 January 2021
Written by Colette Cohen OBE

I’m sure many of us thought with the launch of numerous vaccines, that the challenges of 2020 would be behind us in 2021. Unfortunately, it looks like we will still have some very difficult days ahead.

Yet, 2021 comes with some big expectations.

The video above highlights just three technologies in the horizon. 

A year when, as an industry, we have to clearly show that we are in action on the road to net zero. The new targets established in 2020 by the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) 6th Carbon Budget, the UK Governments’ Energy White Paper and the Scottish Governments’ Green Recovery Plan, all demand demonstrable change by 2030. Against a baseline of 1990, Scotland targets a 70% reduction in emissions by 2030 and the CCC demand a reduction of 80% for the UK by 2035. Clear delivery within 15 years, not by 2045 or 2050.

With this comes a need for an increase in investment, targeting low carbon solutions, net zero technologies and alternate fuels; as well as changes in demand and how we live. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity for our industry.

In our report Reimagining a net zero North Sea we highlighted the need for investment at pace, for a commitment to the delivery of a net zero North Sea to support a new diversified energy system. Early commitment will ensure that we can be a supplier of the technology and services required to deliver this new energy mix, not a buyer. Early commitment also ensures that, as a nation, we can capitalise on the opportunity of net zero rather than lose out to other countries.

COP26 in Glasgow this year provides a very clear impetus for us as an industry to be seen to be in action. We are already doing a lot, from investment in carbon sequestration, to hydrogen generation and electrification of the North Sea, but to deliver these new challenging targets, we need to do more. We need to do more at pace and at scale. Many technology solutions are already identified, but for them to be economically attractive, physically flexible, and scalable they require major innovation.

OGTC pivoted in 2020 to focus on developing and deploying technology to deliver an affordable net zero North Sea. We are working with industry and partnering across sectors on new technology innovation, the video highlights just 3 of the technologies which are being developed. These technologies show the breadth of challenge and opportunity, from new multi-fuel engines to autonomous underwater robots for affordable seismic.

In 2021 OGTC will be looking for more innovative technologies to accelerate our industry’s transition to net zero and the delivery of a net zero North Sea. See our Roadmaps and if you have ideas or technologies that can help, get in touch.

2021 will be tough – but it is also an opportunity. Our industry may not be able to develop a vaccine or fight COVID, but we can tackle climate change and we can impact the UK’s net zero targets…

#LetsMakeADifference #HelloFuture 

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