Need to ‘adapt and be in­no­va­tive’ in the face of en­ergy tran­si­tion

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - BUSINESS -

The stock of the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor is ris­ing in the eyes of many oil and gas bosses look­ing to di­ver­sify their busi­ness, John Casserly said last night.

He claimed that, ex­clud­ing Brexit, the en­ergy tran­si­tion was one of the

“most talked about top­ics right now”.

Mr Casserly said: “Apart from the oil ma­jors, the sup­port com­pa­nies have re­alised that there is a long-term fu­ture in the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor.

“Oil and gas will be around for a while, but now Aberdeen com­pa­nies are look­ing to give them­selves more last­ing se­cu­rity by work­ing across other in­dus­tries.

“Our big­gest prob­lem is whether we can lever­age the lo­cal ca­pa­bil­ity for what we need it for. There is a great sup­ply chain here, but we need it to be able to adapt and be in­no­va­tive.”

Last month, SSE Re­new­ables an­nounced that it has inked a deal to use Mon­trose port as its op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance base for the con­struc­tion of the Seagreen Off­shore Wind Farm. It re­vealed Dan­ish man­u­fac­turer MHI Ves­tas as its pre­ferred wind tur­bine sup­plier.

Mr Casserly claimed SSE Re­new­ables is com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing last­ing jobs lo­cally. He said: “Scot­land is re­ally good at do­ing things, and our big­gest ex­port is of­ten our peo­ple.

“It would be good if, in­stead of ex­port­ing the best peo­ple from our en­ergy sec­tor, we kept them here and their skill set.

“I think off­shore wind has the abil­ity to have a great im­pact on skilled jobs and to cre­ate jobs here.

“We’re cur­rently try­ing to fo­cus on how do we se­cure long-term, good, high-qual­ity jobs for the UK, and par­tic­u­larly lo­cally in the north of Scot­land.”

Af­ter Seagreen phase one, SSE Re­new­ables will look to move on to the sec­ond phase, build­ing a wind clus­ter ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing over 2 mil­lion homes. SSE is un­der­stood to be look­ing at a com­ple­tion date of 2024.

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