Aberdeen today received a vote of confidence from new UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP.
Visiting only a week after taking up office, Mr Huhne toured stands at the All Energy renewables exhibition, visited oil firm Apache and met industry leaders at Oil and Gas UK.
Image: The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP at the All Energy renewables exhibition.
Mr Huhne said:
My in tray is heavy with two massive responsibilities - cutting dangerous carbon emissions and ensuring secure and reliable energy supplies. This city has a crucial role to play in both of these and our ambition to create a low carbon economy.
Aberdeen is the UK’s power house, our energy capital. Its workforce is respected the world over, its contribution to our economy and our energy security beyond question. And it is increasingly staking a claim as a leader in the new low carbon energy technologies that will help us tackle climate change.
The UK’s indigenous oil and gas continues to play a crucial part in our energy security, even as we aspire to a low carbon future.
This is a vibrant industry but there is no room for complacency. There could be 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent left to exploit but the UK competes against every other basin in the world for investment and I am committed to make sure that we have a licensing regime and investment environment that attracts quality companies and investment to fully exploit the remaining potential. We will work closely with the industry to ensure that we can achieve just that.
Energy security, for too long a second order issue, will be put back at the heart of our national security strategy. The oil and gas sector should take encouragement from that.
At the same time we have a shortening window for action to prevent the most damaging impacts of climate change.
One of the biggest scandals is that we’ve got one of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world - and the know how to exploit it - and yet we’re one of the worst performing countries when it comes to harnessing it.
There are a lot of opportunities in the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector which need to be taken advantage of. The expertise and skills that have been vital to the oil and gas sector are transferable and will be key to the renewable energy sector as it develops, and are especially relevant for offshore wind.
The renewables industry will come of age under this Government. It’s early days but our coalition agreement is explicit in its support for the sector.
The prize is too great to let this opportunity pass us by. The UK must reap the rewards from its renewable energy potential just as we do with our oil and gas supplies.