The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) has highlighted the need to back the creation of demonstration centres around the UK to drastically reduce the costs associated with low-carbon technologies.
Detailed within the Technology Driving Green Energy Growth report, the NZTC believes a range of technologies, which currently are expensive, could be reduced with further investment in technology and innovation. This could be vitally important for the UK’s hydrogen, carbon capture storage and floating offshore wind sectors.
Should this be pursued, the NZTC believes the adoption of various low-carbon technologies could be accelerated. Rapid investment could also enable the delivery of the North Sea Transition Deal’s (NSTD) emissions target and create a net zero energy system in the North Sea.
The NSTD deal aims to unlock £16 billion of investment and reduce emissions by up to 60 million metric tonnes per year. By 2030, the UK must generate 10GW of low-carbon hydrogen, with at least 5GW being green hydrogen, and develop four carbon capture and storage (CCS) clusters to meet the NSTD demand.
“We’ve reached a point where climate change, energy security and the cost-of-living crisis have culminated in a perfect storm,” said Colette Cohen, CEO of the Net Zero Technology Centre.
“A storm that we can no longer weather without urgent action through commitment and investment in new affordable low-carbon technologies. In the report we have identified key opportunities and created a call to action so that innovation can be driven at pace, jobs secured, and net-zero targets met.”
In order to unlock this funding that could be crucial for the sector, the NZTC has outlined three recommendations in the report to help meet the NSTD’s commitments.
The first recommendation states industry should be supported and incentivised toward rapid test and deployment of technologies in order to drive improvements in efficiency, modularity and scalability.
Should this be implemented, the NZTC estimated that this will reduce levelised costs by at least 50% across core technologies such as offshore wind solutions, electrolysers, carbon capture technology and the materials associated with the creation of low-carbon technologies.
The second recommendation called on government to sponsor and champion the delivery of test and demonstration centres that would de-risk, standardise and scale low-carbon technologies.
This could incentivise greater investment within low-carbon technologies and drive adoption and innovation in the sector.
The final recommendation suggested that an infrastructure plan should be constructed to transport, transmit, store, and manage new energy commodities such as hydrogen, ammonia, renewable electricity and CO2.
“Investing in technology research and development is going to be crucial to deliver the North Sea Transition Deal commitments, and ultimately net zero by 2050,” said Carlo Procaccini, head of technology at the North Sea Transition Authority.
“We need to adapt and deploy our traditional offshore oil and gas technologies for the new challenges of carbon capture utilisation and storage, floating offshore wind, and hydrogen, working across different energy sectors and anchoring the supply chain in the UK. This represents a key opportunity for our industry, requiring a prompt response in terms of technology focus and investments.”
Earlier this month NZTC and the Cygnus JV and Sealand Projects identified four electrification options for an offshore oil and gas asset to reduce emissions from its operation.
This included local offtake with a power purchase agreement, local offtake with an offshore transmission owner, reallocation of turbines and dedicated offshore wind farms serving a platform.