Aberdeen City Council’s co-leader has told how Aberdeen “must embrace the future” and back plans for an energy transition zone.
A 70-acre area site in the south of Aberdeen, which includes green space and industrial estates, has been earmarked for development in Aberdeen City Council’s proposed local development plan (LDP) and has been described as the city’s first “energy transition zone”.
Under the proposals the land would be set aside for the development of low or zero-carbon or renewable energy industries.
It could welcome businesses focusing on the wind, biomass, solar and tidal sectors to the site, close to the new South Harbour development.
The area could also support firms which traditionally focused on fossil fuels make the switch to new technologies.
And city leaders claim the initiative could bring employment to the city.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “If Aberdeen is to maintain its position as the energy capital of Europe, attract high-skilled jobs and help meet the UK and Scottish Governments’ emission targets by 2045, then urgent action supported by large-scale investment such as an energy transition zone is required.
“Aberdeen must embrace the future otherwise there will be plenty of other cities up and down the UK that will welcome an energy transition zone.”
Some of the potential energy transition opportunities mentioned in a study into the plan includes offshore renewables manufacture and assembly (including extensive laydown and storage areas) – directly adjacent to the harbour, potential harbour-related energy recovery centre and an energy plant – close to major energy generators such as heavy industry or South Harbour.
It could also see the creation of a hydrogen production plant and a shoreside energy hub to allow vessels to turn their engines off.
A feasability study shows land at St Fittick’s could be used for the assembly and storage of offshore renewables.
At East Tullos, new rail and road links would lead to an energy hub dedicated to the generation and storage of hydrogen. And the study sets out a vision for an “Energy Coast” around Tullos, Balnagask and the coast road.
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A report into the plan reads: “Aberdeen is well placed to capitalise on this energy transition and has already seen significant investment in the sector. In this plan we have identified our first energy transition zone, a land-use zoning and supporting policy specifically aimed at supporting the delivery of low and zero-carbon technologies, placing Aberdeen at the forefront of this emerging industry.
“The energy transition zone has been placed adjacent to the South Harbour extension and rail line to maximise development opportunities.”
The report states the site would help meet national emissions goals, with the target of Scotland having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
It has been supported by a host of organisations including Opportunity North East, Oil and Gas UK, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse has also given it his backing.