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Our North Star is bright: an Integrated Energy Vision for the North Sea

30 November 2020
Written by Colette Cohen OBE

On the 11th November, OGTC laid out a clear purpose to develop and deploy technology to accelerate the transition to an affordable net zero future. Our North Star is clear and shining bright. We know where we want to go, but it will be a challenging journey. One where a lot of money could be spent with not a lot to show for it. So, a few signposts along the way would be helpful to ensure we deliver with impact and invest where the innovation is needed most, to transform the North Sea into a fully integrated energy system.

We published the Closing the Gap study in October to highlight where innovation is required to help us deliver an affordable net zero North Sea. It helps us prioritise our future activities and seek out the right partners to make the changes required. A great start, but what does a net zero North Sea look like?

We all aspire to this common goal a net zero future. From Roadmap 2035 to individual company commitments yet, we have no shared vision of how to get there. We need some pathways to net zero. Some scenarios that paint a picture of what a net zero North Sea could look like.

Working in partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, we have created the Integrated Energy Vision for the North Sea report. This report outlines three potential scenarios to deliver a reimagined net zero North Sea building on our strong energy foundations.

Each scenario requires clear intent, supportive policies, investment at pace and strong alignment to unlock vast potential for the UK over the next 30 years and beyond.

The creation of an integrated net zero offshore energy system requires hundreds of billions of pounds of investment, which will generate trillions in value. It can deliver affordable energy for homes and businesses as well as maximising opportunities for the export of technologies, skills and services – whilst minimising reliance on imports. It can capitalise on our combined skills, expertise and capabilities, generating substantial economic value while fulfilling our net zero ambitions…

…helping us become owners of the net zero economy, deliverers of technology solutions, suppliers of energy, exporters of the next generation of fuels and services.

However, to achieve this position, to capitalise on the opportunity, it is also clear we need to act now. Invest at pace and not in a single winner, but across energy generation ensuring we can deliver the optimum solution by region and place. Maximising the export opportunity for our supply chain. We can deliver as much of our energy demand as possible from our indigenous resources, not just in the North Sea but across the UK, if we commit to an aligned vision of our future.

Driving green economic growth off a strong energy foundation delivering high value jobs, exciting local opportunities and building a global exportable position. Each scenario within the report is vastly different and varies not only in energy mix and cost to deliver, but also in the level of social and economic impact.


Our North Star is clear. I am excited to share this vision for the future in partnership with OREC; to outline our ambition to work in collaboration with industry, government and academia to deliver innovative technologies that drive down costs for the consumer, create and deliver an affordable energy future for the UK and Scotland.

For a copy of the Integrated Energy Vision for the North Sea report, please click here.
For a copy of the Closing the Gap report, please click here.

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