Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) and Robert Gordon’s University (RGU) release a detailed roadmap called “Harnessing the Potential”. This roadmap outlines plans to help UK companies build and implement the necessary changes for a future net zero energy system. It’s the first time such comprehensive plans have been made available.
The collaboration between OEUK and RGU aims to support job creation, economic growth, and innovation across the United Kingdom. The roadmap highlights the significance of the offshore energy sector, which includes oil and gas operators as well as wind developers. These players have the potential to invest a staggering £200 billion in UK energy production and technology projects over the next few years, contributing significantly to the government’s energy targets.
Incredibly, the roadmap reveals that UK supply chain companies could secure over £90 billion of these investments in the next decade alone, provided the roadmap is successfully implemented and both government energy production and local content targets are met. This represents a tremendous economic opportunity and promises a wealth of job prospects within the offshore energy supply chain.
The roadmap provides a detailed plan, spanning from 2022 to 2035, outlining the necessary steps to build, enable, and sustain UK capabilities across six key areas. With major project decisions expected in the coming years, the roadmap underscores the potential for UK companies to secure a larger portion of the work with the right support.
Opportunities within the offshore energy industry include the development and licencing of new technologies, equipment production, asset installation and maintenance, and even the eventual decommissioning of offshore energy projects.
While there are exciting prospects, the report also acknowledges the challenges that may arise, such as the potential loss of key UK capabilities like steelworks and the risks associated with unpredictable regulatory and fiscal environments.
Delivering the roadmap and building more energy projects in Britain could unlock £90 billion of work for our offshore energy supply chain. This will support UK jobs, drive economic growth, and foster innovation for years to come. Achieving 100 percent of these projects through UK companies would further amplify the rewards.Katy Heidenreich, Director of Supply Chain and People at OEUK
With other countries implementing plans to attract supply chain investments, like the US Inflation Reduction Act, OEUK emphasises the need for greater focus from politicians and governments on cultivating an energy future within the UK, rather than relying heavily on imports.
The roadmap explores three scenarios for boosting the UK offshore energy supply chain. Each scenario examines the impact on the UK supply chain based on the scale of energy projects and the percentage of work carried out by UK companies over the next decade.
The best-case scenario envisions the full realisation of the British Energy Strategy, with 50% of projects delivered by the UK supply chain. This scenario includes ambitious targets such as developing 50 GW of offshore wind capacity, producing 10 GW of hydrogen, capturing and storing 30 million tonnes of carbon annually, and prioritising domestic oil and gas production over imports during the specified period.
On the other hand, a low-investment scenario, characterised by no new oil and gas development and slow investment in new energies, would only deliver £60 billion to UK supply chain companies.
The roadmap emphasises that the oil and gas sector will continue to offer significant supply chain opportunities until at least 2027.
Heidenreich encourages support from politicians across all parties to endorse the roadmap and work towards delivering at least 50% of these projects within the UK. This entails placing the UK workforce and industrial capabilities at the forefront of energy decision-making, promoting enduring policies that encourage long-term investments, and showcasing the talent available within the domestic market to the global stage.