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Aberdeen as a global energy centre of excellence

Aberdeen could become a global energy centre of excellence, according to the report 'Northern Lights: a strategic vision of Aberdeen as a world-class energy capital' by PwC in Aberdeen.

By Kari Williamson

The UK continental shelf could generate in excess of US$ 600 billion in new revenues through a combination of fresh funding and investment, fiscal certainty and targeted incentives, greater public and private sector collaboration, and a more coordinated approach by industry and education, PwC in Aberdeen says.

Its report outlines the positive actions that industry, financial, public sector and academic stakeholders will need to take together if they are to secure the coveted position as one of the global energy capitals of the next 40 years, delivering excellence and providing a lasting legacy for Aberdeen.

It also delivers a cautionary note: Aberdeen may be reaching a crossroads. Stakeholders should collaborate more to build on the city’s 40 year track record in oil and gas, without which there is a risk that the opportunities within reach may slip away, leaving the future prosperity of Aberdeen much less certain as oil and gas reserves inevitably decline.

Renewable energy a compliment to oil and gas

Mark Higginson, senior partner, PwC in Aberdeen, comments: “We have a remarkable - and potentially unrepeatable - opportunity to position the city as an international energy centre of excellence for the next 40 years.

“However, this isn’t simply going to fall to Aberdeen by right. We need to shape our own destiny and the journey must start now, with everyone focussed on a single, definitive strategy that embraces core objectives of maximising oil reserves, exploiting the new frontier areas West of Shetland and the Arctic, becoming a talent magnet and more effectively serving the needs of industry, and viewing clean energy not as a consolation prize but as a complement to oil and gas revenues.”

With a Scottish government target of 100% of gross electricity consumption to be supplied by renewable sources by 2020, the report demonstrates that this is not a consolation prize but a viable sector that can complement existing operations in the long term.

Jonathan Shelley, energy director, PwC in Aberdeen, adds: “The response by the industry, including investors and oilfield services companies, to both the substantial renewable and decommissioning rewards that can be reaped in future years has been sporadic. The investment opportunity exists now to become a key international player in these markets and Aberdeen needs to grasp this with both hands. We can’t afford to be in the slow lane.”

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