I have listened to the Oil and Gas Authority’s podcast, titled “The Energy Transition”, released on the 4th July 2019 and I highly recommend giving it a listen. While I’m not able to summarise it fully, I’d like to describe a few points I think are especially important.
The discussion begins by trying to define the Energy Transition itself. The term lacks definition and is clearly more of an objective than a roadmap. The target to be net zero by 2050 commits the UK to a timetable but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s unclear exactly what steps are required to meet the deadline or what the end point looks like – greater use of electric vehicles, a complete shift to renewable sources of power generation combined with better energy storage? The OGA is focused on what role the oil and gas industry can play in creating a cleaner, low or net-zero carbon economy. This resonates with our cleaner2greener™ philosophy in which gas to wire forms a bridge between large centralised power production and augmented renewables.
The second interesting point for me is how the majors are changing their investment strategy away from E&P, to include ventures capable of creating the technology and efficiency improvements on which the transition relies. That pathway will include pilot projects to demonstrate the technology, followed by rapidly scaled implementation. There is now a lot more money being allocated to suitable projects, with limited downside and practically unlimited upside.
The third key point for me is that the UK is where the innovation is happening. We’re seeing support for new methods of power production, the OGA actively supporting gas to wire as a core element of its UKCS Energy Integration Project, investment into alternative technologies like carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen transport economy gaining traction. There is a lot happening and it is exhilarating to be a part of this period of incubation and growth. Most exciting is the prospect that the technology developed and proven here will be exported to developing nations abroad that will have to go through similar transitions in the future. There is huge future potential for technologies in this space.
You can listen to the podcast at the OGA website.
Peter-Giles Robinson, Technical Manager