Industry response to Government’s Energy White Paper

With Government acknowledging the positive contribution that the industry can make in the transition to net zero in its recently published Energy White Paper, UKPIA and OGUK have welcomed the report.

Following the release of the white paper, UKPIA has called for a strong commitment from government to work with industry to develop energy policies that support economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, while laying the important foundations for a just transition to net zero.

The association found it encouraging to see the downstream oil sector referenced in the paper as continuing to play a vital role in the transition to the net zero economy. UKPIA and its members have restated their intention to continue to work with government to develop the policies needed to stimulate investment in the sector to support jobs now and in the long term and ensuring secure fuel supplies during the energy transition.

UKPIA’s members are already playing a significant role in achieving societal targets for decarbonisation with increased biofuel blends in petrol and diesel fuel and a widespread roll out of chargers for EVs, as well as embarking on projects to decarbonise industrial sites through the application of carbon capture and hydrogen technologies.

In October, UKPIA launched its report titled “Transition, Transformation, and Innovation: Our role in the Net-Zero Challenge” which looked at credible scenarios and an illustrative pathway for the UK downstream sector to achieve Net-Zero, which was also referenced in the paper.

In response to the paper, Stephen Marcos Jones, UKPIA director-general said:
“UKPIA has called for a collaborative approach to policy development that we hope today’s energy white paper will bring.  It is absolutely vital – as a vaccine is rolled out and the UK can begin its recovery from COVID-19 – that industry and the UK Government work together to put in place the energy policies we need to stimulate investment for the recovery now and to meet long term targets.

“UKPIA and our members know that a range of technologies will be needed into the 2030s and beyond, and we will keep working with government on policies that allow the industry to decarbonise and importantly make the UK a global leader in net-zero technologies, such as CCUS and hydrogen.”

Also commenting on the paper, OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE, said:
“We welcome the publication of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s energy white paper, in which the government recognises the positive contribution our industry can make in the transition to net zero, both now and in the future. It sets out ambitious and challenging expectations of the UK offshore oil and gas industry, and we are committed to continue working collaboratively with governments and regulators as we deliver these.

“Today’s report not only highlights the critical role our industry plays in maintaining energy security in the UK, but also commits again to a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which will be a key lever to moving the sector at pace towards a low-carbon future.

“It’s encouraging to see that today’s report also recognises the value of the UK oil and gas industry workforce, especially after such a challenging year. We know that if we are to unlock the challenge of net zero, the talent, expertise and skills found within our workforce will be vital.

“As an industry, we remain committed to delivering our net-zero goals, as detailed in our Roadmap 2035. We will continue to work with the Government at pace to secure this vital sector deal in the first half of 2021, safeguarding jobs and supporting our energy communities in the journey to net zero.”