If Scotland receives £17 billion in renewable investments during the next eight years, it will become a global energy hub.
That’s according to a study by Robert Gordon University, which claims this could secure 54,000 jobs by 2030.
It is urging government to make the region of Northeast Scotland more attractive to prospective investors and combine this with ongoing oil and gas expenditure to help industry grow and eventually become greener.
The Northeast of Scotland represents 28% of the UK’s offshore energy workforce and the report therefore states that the region has a critical role to play in the energy transition and cannot be ignored.
Last year, however, 90% of this workforce were dedicated to oil and gas ventures, with only 10% supporting offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture. The report estimates that with the correct backing, by 2030 this number would rise to 60% in favour of renewables.
Professor Paul de Leeuw, Director of the Energy Transition Institute at Robert Gordon University, said: “There is a unique opportunity to re-shape a new energy future here.
“This will require rapid, targeted investment in the Northeast of Scotland to develop the project, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and operational infrastructure for the renewables sector.
“Sustaining the oil and gas sector’s skills and capabilities over the coming years will be critical in ensuring the region has the workforce ready to deliver on this ambition.”
The research states that oil and gas needs to be used to help grow the renewables workforce and not shunned, as jobs must be protected and expertise must be leaned on.