Scotland has supported low carbon industries such as renewable wind power for decades. In fact, in 1887 Professor James Blyth, working at Anderson’s College in Glasgow – now known as Strathclyde University – successfully developed the first known wind turbine.
It was designed to power his holiday cottage in Kincardineshire to light his home and become the first house where electricity supply came from wind power. Shortly followed by the US and Denmark, Scotland continues to play a vital role in the creation of a number of on and off-shore wind farms, thanks to it’s ideal position near the North Sea.
Figures supplied by the Scottish Parliament in March 2023 shows that Scotland has the capability of producing 8.8GW of onshore wind energy and an additional 2.1GW from offshore turbines. The recent developments in floating wind turbines, will allow farms to be built in deeper waters – where winds are stronger to allow the country to further increase its production capacity.
For countries to achieve net zero though, including Scotland, the focus needs to be on more than just wind power – and that’s certainly been recognised by the Scottish Government.
Net zero in numbers
To meet Scotland’s plan to be net zero by 2045, a number of interim targets have been set – together with funding and investment plans to help support the energy transition. We take a look at some of the key ones.
25% reduction in emissions by 2023
90% reduction in emissions by 2040
More than 20GW additional renewable electricity by 2030
5GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2023, and 25GW by 2045
2% reduction in car travel by 2030
£1.6 billion for heat decarbonisation
£180 million Emerging Energy Technologies Fund – to support carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen capability and the development of Negative Emissions Technologies
£100 million Green Jobs Fund – to invest in low carbon businesses, together with the creation of a Green Workforce Academy
The net zero landscape
A search of low carbon and net zero projects that are currently under development or in feasibility studies in Scotland, returns hundreds of results which is brilliant news for achieving the targets above, but it also means it’s impossible to list them all here. We take a look at some of the highlights.
North-East Network and Industrial Cluster
Operated by SGN, a plan to develop a 100% hydrogen gas network that will repurpose existing infrastructure is currently in the feasibility stage. If the project goes ahead, start-up is currently projected for 2027, and will see a $11 million dollar investment to transport hydrogen across the North East and East coast of Scotland and support carbon capture and storage.
Abernethy Battery Storage Facility
Government approval has been gained for a 65MW battery energy storage facility to be developed in Abernethy. Owned by Centrica Business Solutions, construction began on site earlier in the year thanks to £12.5 million funding secured from Santander UK.
Viking Onshore Wind Farm
A total of 103 turbines are entering the final stages of installation across Shetland which, once operational in 2024, will have the capacity to produce 443 MW of wind power.
A new combined heat and power energy from waste plant is under construction in Glenfarg to provide an alternative energy source for Perth & Kinross, whilst helping manage 84,900 tonnes of waste each year. Due to commence operations in early 2025, it will have an 8.6 MW electricity output capacity.
Creating net zero job opportunities for everyone
The £100 million Green Jobs Fund aims to provide employment opportunities for local people to work in low-carbon sectors. Twinned with the establishment of a Green Workforce Academy, this could create chances for people from diverse backgrounds to build a long-term career in emerging low carbon and net zero technologies.
A report from Skills Development Scotland, identified that less than 1% of hiring activity in 2021 was for green jobs, making this much anticipated fund and training academy a welcome plan to upskills Scotland’s workforce.
In a Scottish Government report entitled ‘Delivering Economic Prosperity’, the role of net zero jobs is clear to see. With plans to strengthen the country’s position in emerging industries that will support the energy transition, whilst ensuring that people have the opportunity to build rewarding careers.
Discussing the future opportunities for local people to secure net zero roles, NRL’s Falkirk branch Team Leader Graham Ross commented,
"As energy companies look to boost their low carbon production capacities, we expect roles to become available for people across a wide range of disciplines. Whether you work in engineering, fabrication or in an office role – many businesses will be looking to considerably upscale their operations in the coming years.
What’s also clear to see is that for future projects such as carbon capture and hydrogen to be achievable, organisations will need to consider a broad set of transferrable skills – because these newer energy sectors don’t have an extensive database of candidate with direct skills. This means thinking differently, and it’s a large part of the support we provide to our clients here at NRL. Looking within complementary sectors and identifying the people with the capability to easily transition their past industry expertise into these emerging sectors."
The latest net zero roles from NRL
If you're seeking a new position to benefit from the energy transition, then have a glance at our most recent vacancies listed below:
Essex, Contract or Permanent, Salary Dependent on Experience
Take the overall lead in all site commercial activities, monitor and guide other commercial site personnel and minimise any commercial risks to the construction site.
UK-wide, Contract or Permanent, Salary Dependent on Experience
Take on one of a number of opportunities with clients in the Energy from Waste, Nuclear, Petrochemical and Defence sectors; remeasuring and evaluating changes from revised drawings.
Farnborough, Permanent, £60,000 per annum + benefits
A global cleantech company, operating in energy from waste & renewable gas, are looking for an experienced Site Supervisor to join their commissioning team based in Slough then moving to the next site in Westfield.
Cheshire, Contract, Salary TBC
A leading Waste to Energy provider are looking for a Project Manager to support their site based in the North West, managing all aspects of medium to large Engineering Procurement Construction / Service projects including risk to cost, schedule and quality.
Looking for more roles?
To discover the perfect position, explore our most recent job opportunities by clicking on the link below.
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