University of Aberdeen Founder's Day - 25th May 2023 - Keynote Session 2

University of Aberdeen Founder's Day - 25th May 2023 -  Keynote Session 2

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okay good afternoon everyone I'm Peter Edwards I'm  the vice principal for regional engagement here at   the University of Aberdeen and it's my very great  pleasure to to welcome you to this second session   um and in a moment we'll be hearing from our guest   speaker uh who's giving the plenary Martin  McCormack but before we do I just want to   warn everyone that the next session is going to  be interactive as you've already heard we would   ask you please if you have a mobile device  to go to and it was up there   a moment ago there we go when you go to that site  you'll need to enter those numbers 3266 zero one   five and that will unlock the poll that you'll be  asked to respond to during Martin's presentation so the session that we're going into for the  remainder of this afternoon is focused on possibly   one of the most significant agendas for us in the  northeast of Scotland namely the energy transition   and we'll be hearing from Martin as I said about  the energy transition shortly and then we'll move   into a panel discussion with a really from my  perspective a really exciting group of panelists   that bring a variety of perspectives on the energy  transition so that we can discuss the role of   innovation in delivering the energy transition  and really securing the economic future of of   the northeast of Scotland so let me just before  I get him up on stage let me just introduce our   our guest speaker Martin McCormack as you will  have heard Martin is the director of CC us and   and hydrogen for energy transition zone limited um  Martin has over 30 years experience in the energy   sector he's also an alumnus of the University of  Leeds as am I and I discovered earlier today that   Martin and I were actually both at Leeds at the  same time but we never we we didn't meet them um as we move forward in this session I think  it's really important that we all keep in mind   as I said the role of energy transition  for us in the northeast of Scotland I've   been privileged over the last few months to be  involved with others in helping develop the new   Regional economic strategy for the Northeast and  I think suffice to say that the energy transition   is absolutely at the heart of that new economic  strategy so what we're talking about today I think   is of the utmost relevance so I'd like to welcome  Martin up onto the stage Martin will speak for   around 25 minutes and as I said please be ready  to respond to his his provocations and questions foreign [Applause] yeah thank you Pete thanks very much  just before we came up Pete said he's going to say   something about me that I didn't know so I was a  bit to be honest quite worried about that so that   was okay so a good afternoon ladies and gentlemen  it's genuinely a pleasure uh to be at this   prestigious event a thank you to the principal  and to all the staff at University of Aberdeen   and uh you know some of you probably take this  wonderful venue for granted but what a fantastic   place it is it's a it's a venue that I actually  got a close relationship with from previous work   in BP but not here to talk about that um I'm here  to hopefully provide an overview of this northeast   Scotland energy transition opportunity that Pete's  already alluded to and hopefully put the put the   case for why this is going to be really important  to the region going forward and maybe get to the   point somewhere in the future just like we've been  identified as the European oil and gas capital of   Europe in the future maybe we can justify the tag  of being the European European Net Zero low-carbon   uh capital of Europe going forward I will  potentially sometimes mention Aberdeen that is   meant as Aberdeen and the region so for anyone in  the in the Shire if I say City please take it as   gospel I'm meaning Northeast Scotland so um with  that I'll crack on so hopefully many of you in the   room are familiar with energy transitions Zone and  the company we're a not-for-profit organization we   are set up to support the region and to help the  region prepare for the future particularly around   the energy transition opportunity we're funded by  both the Scottish and UK governments and we also   have private sector funding from opportunity  Northeast and as Pete's alluded to we see our   remit is to help the region to prepare for this  really exciting opportunity that we have going   forward in in terms of energy transition we're  trying to do that by trying to do probably three   things we're trying to attract new manufacturing  opportunities that are going to be attracted by   this pipeline of opportunity and the place and  come back to that we're also trying to develop   the skills necessary for the future and what we're  pleased to talk about developmental skills for the   future than here and also a lot of what we're  talking about is pre-commercial technology and   the role of innovation is going to be critical  going forward so now it's time hopefully   for you to do a little bit of the work so what I'd  really like you and by the way it does get a bit   more technical than this um so what I really would  appreciate is if you could just practice with the   technology and what do you feel is the most of  famous achievement from the region the city I'm   not maybe expecting too many votes for Aberdeen  Angus given Pete's uh earlier presentation   unfortunately but there may be one or two out  there so if it's allowable I'm going to vote too how we do it wow thank you I didn't expect that answer but  um there you go so there's hopefully a good   a good start going forward but uh Abilene Angus  did get a vote so I'm really pleased about that   um interesting enough that those those came from  chat gbt you may have seen my little comment   at the start this is not all my work Gothenburg  1983 was my own contribution so just goes to show   um you know how the human intelligence  compares to artificial intelligence going   forward so next question hopefully  this slide is self-explanatory we   are obligated every one of us to get to  Net Zero by 2045 so do you think we can I'm not sure if it's taking the votes yet there we go I said I can vote can't I great split split split house that's not  surprising I would guess we'll come back   to that in fact maybe we'll explain that  slightly now so this is a slide courtesy of   um Grant Wilson Dr Grant Wilson at University  of Birmingham it's a slide I think I don't see   often enough when I go to energy transition um  type events because it's showing the sheer scale   of what we're trying to achieve when it comes to  energy in in the UK so just to get your heads in   red is electricity so that's currently what we're  able to power through the existing electricity   grid green is the current wind proportion of that  so renewable portion there's probably some other   renewable sources from there the black line is all  the transport so many of us would have driven to   to this event many of us probably didn't use an  EV or a dare I say a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle   um so that's the black um part of that blue is  gas um something I'd like to just to draw your   attention to is the shape of that particular curve  gas is really how we manage to heat our homes in   Winter when obviously demands are at its greatest  so just a couple of takeaways that's one the other   is electrification is really important to how we  get to Net Zero and I totally agree with that but   the scale from reaching from that red line to  nearly that by the way the purple line is the   total put together to get from that red line to  that purple line is a huge amount and particularly   when we start to think about security supply  and resilience type questions going forward so how are we doing in terms of our role to  get to Net Zero well the answer is we're not   going quick enough so I think people are familiar  with the committee on climate change so that's   the government independent group that provides  guidance to the government's all governments as   to policy or how they're doing in terms of their  performance this is an interesting report just   recently and it's back to power so if we can't  decarbonize our power system by 2035 which is   the UK government committee we really don't  have much chance of getting to Net Zero 2045   in Scotland 2050 in the UK so committee on climate  change is clearly saying it's possible but not at   the pace of progress that we're currently  seeing and Scotland as you know has got   um has been is is obligated to get to net zero  five years earlier than the UK and that's because   we should be able to we it's it's more realistic  to get to Net Zero in a place like Scotland 2045.   unfortunately and we've got a Target to get to  75 percent by 2030 we're not on track now there's   million mitigating factors in that particularly  reserve powers being some of those but it just   means we're not doing enough and we're not doing  it quick enough I don't know if anyone went to   the all energy conference a couple of weeks ago  in Glasgow it was a great panel um I don't know   if you have had the pleasure of seeing Chris Stark  who is the chief executive of computer and climate   change uh and he talked about this is a Sprint  not a marathon he quoted a certain minister   uh who will remain nameless who was referencing  it relatively recently as more of a marathon so   not only ministers I think need to take take  into account that this is really important and   we need to get into action but every one of us  in this room today but particularly ministers   for energy security and Net Zero  so we really need to be in action   so last question of the this session  for you then I continue to do my work do you think that this region Aberdeen and Shire  can indeed become a Net Zero Energy capital and   this is hitting you cold and hopefully I I  will be able to convince you afterwards but   it doesn't look like I've got too  much work to do which is great great thank you we will come back today do  you mind just get in a rough shape of that   graph so we can perhaps review how poorly I did  later on when I asked the same question later great so um good start and you're not  alone which is great we've got a couple   of people who you may know who if they're  in this room I think would have voted yes   um certain ex first Minister and the current  first minister so these are actual quotes   from from them and I hope to be able to put the  case for that argument over the next few minutes   and I'm going to try and do it using um USP unique  selling points or in this case us5ps because   I'm going to be talking about five particular  attributes of the region that I think are really   good and that we all can control to a greater  degree I've already referenced there are certain   things out with our control I will come back  towards that at the end but there's many things   we do control and it starts at place and then I'm  going to talk to you through the project pipeline   that we have at a high level and I'll focus on  hydrogen something I'm much more comfortable with   and then we'll talk about the role of the supply  chain and particularly the pivoting from a legacy   oil and gas um area into energy transition people  of course and then finally which is close to this   particular we'll talk about technology and the  potential that Innovation and Technology could can   make in this space going forward so hopefully that  makes sense we'll find out the place of Aberdeen   these are attributes hopefully not familiar these  are familiar to you we have got the tools and the   capabilities and the infrastructure to relatively  easy transition particularly to a large-scale   offshore low-carbon energy production Basin of the  future which is the direction that we're traveling   so all of that Legacy oil and gas experience  is directly relevant all that infrastructure   or much of that infrastructure can be repurposed  the quality of our universities and our further   education College already is working in the right  spaces etc etc I'll talk a bit more about the   um the South Harbor and the energy transition  zone just very briefly so we've invested 400   million pounds into the South Harbor a lovely  fact I like to share is the port of Aberdeen   is the longest serving Commercial Business in  the UK I think that's full stop we're going to   has got a long history as well but the port of  Aberdeen has got a an even longer one I believe   and it's growing and preparing for the future  through the South Harbor deep water non-titled   um Port we're trying to create a business  environment which is going to attract new   businesses towards us particularly around  the energy transition opportunity going   forward and skills and technology is very  much part of that I will come back to the   energy engine I'll try that again energy  incubator and scale-up hub later in the talk   p I may forget which pm on by the way is the  project pipeline so this is a very busy slide   I never apologize for it because I think it's  so exciting so this is showing our current   energy transition opportunities and our future  energy traffic transition opportunities and by   the way it's missing some information already  this seems to go out of date quite quickly   the uh turquoise I think color is Scott wind so  you may be familiar with scotwinds uh 2020 [Music]   22 I think it was announced initially 25 gigawatts  now 28 gigawatts 17 gigawatts of that is within   100 nautical miles of Aberdeen so it's the 60  percent of that huge opportunity going forward   um not on the not on the slide is the intog  The Innovation and targeted all of gas which   is another five and a half gigawatts of offshore  seabed licenses and the vast majority of that is   within the geography of the northeast of Scotland  so huge opportunities around offshore wind   the blue areas I never know what to call them  if I usually call them blobs but in a university   environment that doesn't seem very technical so  call them areas these are the first two storage   sites that could be enabled by the acorn CCS  project I'll come back to that briefly but we've   got world-class carbon dioxide storage potentially  the same geology or very similar geology that   we've produced oil and gas so 24 gigatons of CO2  storage within a 50 kilometer radius of those   two existing pipelines that can be repurposed  so otherwise they would be decommissioned so   we're hoping to put them to work 24 gigatons  by the way is something like 75 years of the   total UK emissions as of 2020 CO2 emissions  I'm talking about not all greenhouse gases so I'm going to break that down just a bit  more detail onto hydrogen and this slide is   a set of Flagship projects that are well  underway in the region that we hope to be   able to enable in the next two to five years  going forward and it really does start with   um Saint Fergus and carbon capture and what  that can do in terms of potentially enabling   large-scale blue hydrogen there's two colors or  there's many colors of hydrogen the two I will   talk about are blue which is where we're basically  taking the feedstock which is methane natural gas   and then we're reforming it we're splitting it  into constituent Parts predominantly hydrogen   and then CO2 is a byproduct is captured and then  transferred and stored in that those geological   stores I talked about it it's called a baited gas  and the great thing I'll talk about this shortly   great thing about hydrogen is it doesn't have  any emissions when you use it at source so that   enables large-scale blue hydrogen and that's what  the acorn hydrogen Project's all about hopefully   you've heard of it so this is based at St Fergus  uh sterega and this is aiming at one particular   Market that low carbon heat so that's that very um  Peak and trough curve that I showed earlier one of   the challenge of the most challenging probably  part of the picture in terms of getting to Net   Zero because of the scale the sheer scale scale  of what what needs to be delivered 85 percent of   the UK households are tied to Natural Gas probably  the university some parts of it at least tied to   the Natural Gas system that's 24 million homes  by the way so it's not an insignificant task   and as mentioned we can go from unabated natural  gas which is what most of those houses are using   to abated gas that's either blue hydrogen where  the vast majority 90 of the co2s capture that   source and stored and then when we use something  like hydrogen in our in our homes the byproducts   are heat and steam so it's not perfect but it's  better than what we're doing and it can be done   as you'll see in a second quite quickly also green  hydrogen could be used for that purpose as well   we have got a project called Aberdeen Vision it's  an sgn project that's just finishing pre-feed   which is identified the path for a dedicated  hydrogen pipeline from Fergus down to the city of   Aberdeen the work is also identified that over two  summers we could convert all our homes that are   currently on natural gas over to hydrogen and one  of the main reasons we can do it over two summers   so and one of the main reasons we can do that  is because a lot of the infrastructure is also   um it's also fit for hydrogen purpose  the low pressure infrastructure   so we have the opportunity to actually move quite  fast in the City of Aberdeen if we're able to   because this is a reserve power but also if the  city commits to it and People's Choice is going to   be very important in this and where better to do  it than a you know to convert a city to hydrogen   than a city that's already recognized as a leader  in this space so we actually have hydrogen in the   city it's working practically you may have seen  the buses and people come to see us regularly to   see what we've got most UK cities don't have what  we have so we are a great position to grow from   here so this is just two refueling stations and  some of the experience of Transport in particular   and the great work the city council in that  pioneering and pilot work is now getting to   the point where it can become become commercial  through public pirate public private Partnerships   why did I pick peas by the way public private  Partnerships that's one been set up between   BP and the city council and that's to  get it from trial status to commercial   going forward you may be familiar and I've talked  about um pre-commercial so this is a very exciting   project so they're looking to do a demonstrator  off the coast of Aberdeen in the concaten Wind   Farm 25 kilometers off southeast of Aberdeen  so this is offshore green hydrogen production   on a semi-submersible infrastructure or a floating  substructure the pipeline comes ashore into the   geography of the energy transition zone and  there's another project in Aberdeen Bay the   eowdc and they're looking to retrofit hydrogen so  we've got potentially three hydrogen projects in   the region it all sounds great doesn't it but it's  actually not because it's really hard to actually   establish a hydrogen economy because who's going  to use it who's going to buy that hydrogen is the   market ready for for hydrogen and the simple  answer is not yet so we have established a   group over the last two years to collaborate to  work together and that was a theme I think that   emerged from the first session the importance of  commitment around collaboration work together to   try and work on the common areas safety public  awareness demand aggregation practical problems   as well and it's a shame that Deb's left because  James Hutton is a great example of that you heard   about agriculture wanting to embrace or  find out more about the role of hydrogen   so we're helping all of these projects hopefully  to get to final investment decisions and those   three of those green hydrogen projects final  investment decision is when projects actually   get built contracts get awarded jobs are generated  three of those hopefully happening this year and   the region can generate at least a gigawatt  of low carbon between blue and green and that   work by the way was done before the Scotland  leasing round so there's a surplus of power   that could be power 2x as well so much more than  a gigawatt of blue carbon hydrogen going forward   one of the companies on on that group and  these are all senior players so Bob Drummond   for instance the CEO of hydroson is on this group  is a great example of the third P if I'm counting   correctly which is the pivot of the supply chain  from a predominantly oil and gas background into   low carbon opportunities in this case hydrogen so  hydroson you may be aware of worn born and bred   in Aberdeen is now a global player with a global  footprint and has strategically shifted over the   last seven years 2016 they started their work  strategically shifted into the hydrogen space   to the point where now eight percent of their  revenue as of last year was from hydrogen work   and due to grow to 25 by 2025. so a real  opportunity for others to to go that route   too and for any supply chain there may not be  many in the room energy transition zone through   courtesy of just transition funding from Scottish  government has got some funding available for   supply chain companies to to help them start  make the capital investment required to to go   after some of these renewable opportunities uh the  fourth p and I've been told to hurry up is people   um so these are two reports from rgu's energy  transition Institute I've seen two or three   pieces of work that give similar answers 90 of the  skills predominantly in the oil and gas sector are   transferable the first piece of work was UK wide  the second piece of work I will want to dwell on   for if I can is the importance of this discussion  to our people in the region so this is a specific   piece of work again done by Paul deloon his team  at at energy transition Institute we're starting   with a baseline of 45 000 people already in the  region that's 20 of the workforce is in energy 90   currently in oil and gas so that's how important  this is to the region if we energy transition   right we can grow to 54 000 people which is  about 20 that's really embracing all of the   energy transition opportunities if we don't get  this right there is only one natural way that we   know that oil and glasses gas is in Decline and  we can drop that by a 40 figure so it's really   important to us as a region that we really do  look and embrace every opportunity that we can   and as for the future Talent pipeline I think I've  got the numbers right yes few I think I think the   principal said it was over 20 000 I think 21s are  roughly right so we have got a strong pipeline   of opportunity how much how many of those are  staying the region uh is obviously part of that   I I think the University of Aberdeen figures would  suggest it's around 40 percent how many of those   know about this energy transition opportunity how  many of those would potentially want to stay um   to work in this region um questions may be for  later and we have one other example of I think   really good collaboration that I want to draw your  attention to which is something that maybe some of   you familiar I know some of some of obviously  the members of the University staff will be   so we've got a national energy skills accelerator  this is a collaboration between both universities   um skills development Scotland is creating a  One-Stop shop for industry to come forward with   their needs going forward and it's also to help  some of the people currently work in oil and gas   who wish to get into Renewables so a really good  example of collaboration happening where maybe   it wasn't happening naturally before maybe it was  and final p looking over to my timekeeper is the   technology potential and innovation these are 10  organizations with physical assets on the ground   that I bet are working on energy transition  I don't know for sure and by the way this is   not an exhausted list so apologies if anyone is  representing one of those entities in the room and one of them the new kid on the Block is the  energy incubator scale up Hub in in the energy   transition zone so this is going to bring business  collaboration startup companies to the region   we hope to work on energy transition challenges  going forward we're very grateful to our founding   Partners BP and Scottish Enterprise and of course  we've got the Scottish government and the UK   government money behind that so we really want  that asset to be put to work as soon as possible   it will be operational in just over a year's  time so to conclude or getting close to conclude   um it is now is the time for action no  so Pete gave a great example of where   action can happen Okay it took a long time but  is it you what a great great uh success story   you may have caught the World Meteorological  organization's report last week and only   report on their five-year prediction of  the planet temperature and unfortunately   there's a two-third chance that  we're going to exceed the very   key data point of 1.5 it doesn't mean the  Journey's over but it is not a place we   want to be we don't want to be hitting 1.5  degrees um uh warming since pre-industrial   levels but it looks like that's where we are  so now is the time that we get into action   as a region we need to be in action because we  need to be aware of the world around us we weren't   successful in some some important UK decisions  recently that has impacted our energy transition   opportunity and we absolutely need to be aware of  the international risks the inflation reduction   act in particular in the U.S is is a fantastic  example of when you can get policy right and I  

mentioned two P's that we don't have control  over policy and that drives Pace in this area   the U.S through their inflation react reduction  act have really got that one I think at the moment   um pretty well understood so 400 billion  pound of dollars in the energy space   and we are already seeing evidence of  companies preferentially moving there   um over over the UK our own place our own policy  and pace of policy is I would say slow I wish I   could say stronger and more positive words  we may want to come back to that I'm really   getting close now so I'm going to finish up by  just giving my own personal incessment my own   personal assessment I didn't get permission from  my boss to put this slide up all right so this is   how I think we're doing on the things we can  we can influence forget policy at the moment   can't influence that I'm sure you can but it's  a very hard process we can influence these five   things I think we're in a really good shape I  think we can dial up on a couple of areas people   may not have the same views I'd be interested  to see there's a dramatic difference but I would   point to Innovation as an area I think back to  those slide of 10 at least 10 organizations with   physical assets on the ground in the region  I think we all including us now as as a new   player I think we could do more much more I think  we could take advantage of examples like Pete's   work and then the skills work and our own work in  the hydrogen space to say can we be dialing up our   Collective effort around energy transition maybe  again another one to talk about in the panel last   question really pushed my lap now so you have  to do this quick I want to get into trouble no   so if I've done a bad job this number goes down  Pete so I'm really worried here please vote openly that was me trying to lead the uh the witness I haven't said that I am voting positively myself I don't know I don't maybe write the numbers down  people I don't know if I've done any good there   but anyway um to conclude I do think personally  we have got a massive opportunity in this region   uh to to embrace energy transition and to sort  of make the same sort of impact that if you are   involved in the oil and gas sector and forgive  me I've got 30 years of that in my history uh   subsea was born in this region why because there  was challenges offshore decommissioning now we   are becoming leaders already in decommissioning  facilities all over the world if we get behind   energy transition particularly offshore low-carbon  energy production I personally believe someone   up here will be talking about our Global success  story in 20 or 30 years time I'm done [Applause]   sorry for right now that's okay so thank you Martin uh just to let Martin know  and put him out of his misery I think you just   shaved it I think the second pull you got slightly  mirror yes slightly thank you but thank you to   Martin for that I think um in the interest of time  you've probably got enough time for a couple of   questions at this point and then we'll move into  the panel and I'm sure we'll have other questions   then so any questions from the floor particularly  points of clarification or questions yep one there thank you very much Martin a great presentation  I was looking at the end of the scorecard   um you got the supply chain in in yellow  right and what's your your position on the   supply Chain's ability to actually deliver  the deployment of all this uh transition if   we think that we have to have I don't know  enough vessels rigs to do the commissioning   win from deployment CC us at the same time is  it possible for another Scotland supply chain   to do so yeah I think so I I scored it yellow  because the uncertainty over the timeline for   projects so I'm an engineer so we we build things  right you know you can only build things when   you've got fire you know good business cases  behind it the uncertainty on the timeline for   even offshore wind which is going to happen is  quite significant so to engage a supply chain   on something that's quite still hard to describe  in terms of when when will there be real work   when will contracts be awarded when will I  need to recruit people that's why I scored it   um a little bit on the low side um  I hope that answers the question   okay anyone else yeah I think we've got one here see what you can't see can you all right  can I just follow up that question and   answer very same question come up all  energy in Glasgow two years ago and we   came to a catch 22 argument whereby  supply chain won't follow through   on the commitments of Net Zero Etc because  we're waiting for policy decisions to consent uh   the licenses Etc and then investors won't  provide the cash available for Supply chains   to be productive about it so something has to  break the Catch-22 so any comments on that yeah   so at the macro level I think it is happening  so I mentioned the inflation reduction Act   there are major Investments happening in the US  in all aspects of low carbon here I mentioned   three projects are going to make final investment  decisions small scale stuff um that's why I think   it's a bit frustrating that we can't point now to  real work there's still uncertainty UK government   has made an improved place in terms of track  two for for CCS we really do need ccs to happen   in Scotland it enables so much not only just  emitting or abating some of the emissions that   we're currently doing so there's been progress on  on that but unfortunately we've got a government   that is taking a very cautious relatively cautious  approach a fair approach but very cautious versus   a government that's basically allowing industry  to decide if it wants to take take the BET and   invest in the uh in the low carbon future  going forward so not a great answer but okay as I said I think in the interest of time  will any other questions can be asked during the   panel discussion so I'd like to invite the other  panel members please to join us on the stage [Applause] all right okay so um unconsciously you know who I am and  and you you've met Martin but I'm going to now   intro invite the other panel members to introduce  themselves so Jenny hello everybody I'm uh I'm   hoping you can hear me yes you can I'm Jenny  stunning I'm the external relations director   at offshore energies UK and some of you may know  us better as oil and gas UK OG UK and we are the   leading trade Association for an integrated energy  industry and we have 400 members from operators in   the oil and gas sector to integrated operators  who also operate in offshore wind hydrogen and   carbon capture and Storage thank you Richard hi  I'm Richard Nielsen I'm Center Director of the   national decommissioning Center and for those  who haven't come across us we're a partnership   between the University of Aberdeen and the NetZero  Technology Center um decreasing is also part of   the energy transition but we're also spreading  out into other areas of energy transition and   have a recent partner obviously renewable energy  catapult um amongst other things and we were quite   into discipline we're doing everything from behind  the financial side of things through what's best   the environment offshore um right through some  tech development and more recently a large project   looking at cross-sectoral decision-making  and funded by the Scottish government   thank you Richard and finally Daria hi everyone  my name is Daria shapavalova and I'm wearing   two hats today I'm the co-director of the  Aberdeen University Center for Energy law   where we do research on how we can use law  regulation and policy and to facilitate just   transition to make sure that law does not stunt  a energy transition but equally does not green   light and risky technologies that can bring  social or environmental harm and I'm also the   coordinator of the Jazz transition lab which is an  interdisciplinary research group at the University   and we bring researchers from law social science  geography geoscience economics to look at just   transition in the region and in other places  around the world we are doing evidence-based   research participatory research to look at how  we can deliver a transition and which distributes   opportunities and challenges in a fairer way great  thank you so so that's who we are so I promised   you quite a very panel and hopefully you know you  you can see what I meant so I'm going to start us   off with one of Martin's peas of his many peas he  was put in his presentation and the one I'm going   to focus on is the technology and Innovation  potential and I think Martin highlighted the   importance of that for us to deliver the energy  transition in the region so I'd just like to ask   the panel members and I'm going to start with  start with Richard what concrete steps do we   need to take to actually realize that potential  okay so I think when I was when Martin slicer up   I mean he put up kind of 10 potential clusters  for for Innovation I think one of the things we   need to make sure we do is to coordinate because  one of the problems don't great so I'll say that   I was straight all all great for for doing things  I guess the the potential problem we've got is to   use a p word again um is that we could either we  we replicate work if we're not coordinated or we   have potentially very very good Technologies  which drop between um stools because we don't   pick them up and I think the other thing is not  just to have Innovation as as being technology   but I think there's there's Innovation across  contracts and profit possible regulation as well   okay thank you Jenny so I would agree with  that and I would add if I take it up a level   we have such a great history and a great  legacy in this region particularly for   Innovation and entrepreneurialism in oil  and gas I would like to see a spirit of   entrepreneurialism and Innovation adopted and  picked through to the energy transition as we go   um and for me I'm going to borrow Chris Stark we  need to be more sprinty that's a real concrete   step we need to inject Pace but also pick up that  matter if I stick with my running running analogy   Pace some Sprints but also we need to think  Marathon long-term strategy to set a framework   to give people the confidence to invest quickly  in technology and innovation okay thank you Daria   thank you I agree with Richard and mujani but I  think we also need to focus on social Innovation   as well and and to maybe shift the focus a little  bit from only looking at the region as a supply   side but looking at how we can bring societies  on board here to transform our Energy Systems our   energy markets to alleviate energy poverty here  in the region which is so energy resource Rich   how do we Empower our communities in the Northeast  to contribute to the energy transition how do we   make sure that there is social license for the  energy transition projects as well so I think   there's a lot of work to be done in this social  space to engage with wider communities as well   great so that's three really interesting responses  so I'm not going to come to you as the person who   posed the question pose the question so your  response um well I think coordination is the   easiest one to tick off um we've I've shared two  examples a very formal example for the NASA and   then a less formal one and by the way we got  involved that hydrogen ambition because we   were siled so I think we can we should be able  to after today kick off the coordination I do   agree with the spirits of Entrepreneurship and  my point my ad was going to be something similar   support be aware of be interested in Innovative  projects ERM dolphin or dolphin hydrogen fantastic   project on our doorstep it's combining two of the  you know two of the future Technologies floating   wind and hydrogen um so I would just encourage  us to support these technology projects these   leading projects as we go forward find out  about them I can help and many can help make   those connections I'll just add that okay  what about what about Daria's point about um I talk about the City of Aberdeen decarbonizing  through hydrogen and some of the learnings that   the UK are finding in particular about the  evidence built around hydrogen is how not   to do some of this work this was a 20 trial in  northwest of England where people were forced   to participate if you take an example an sgn h100  project in Fife so this is going to be 300 homes   on hydrogen next year I think they're signing  up independently so they are basically being   willing willingly part of the story going forward  I think the city is a great place to really build   on that social side of things because we have got  a tolerance for hydrogen um in the city which is   great so we're open to this new way of um Heating  and powering our homes but we do need to be very   um mindful of the choice component going forward  okay thank you and so I'm going to ask the panel   one more question from me and then I'm going  to be coming to the audience just to give you   a a warning um so my next question really is is  something that I pick up a lot in in my day job   um because I spend a lot of time talking to  to the business Community across across the   energy sector and one of the things I hear a lot  is is the perceived challenge of of business and   universities working together um to work on some  of these really major challenges and I guess I   just like panel members to give us the thoughts  on what they feel those challenges are and how we   might overcome some of them so I'll start with Jim  it's a really interesting question particularly   here in a university today and probably because  some of those difficult conversations have been   had with our members um I would say one of the  challenges would be or let me flip that round   and make it an opportunity rather than a challenge  to be open-minded it kind of links to what I was   saying before and I think it will be difficult  for business and University to work together on   the energy transition if we shut off if I can be  controversial for a second shut off for example   and say I do not want to talk to a fossil fuel  company let's put that out there because many   of the companies that are household names for oil  and gas are now integrated energy companies and   they are the companies that we want to work with  in partnership with to drive the energy transition   and those are the kind of companies I think  have a good history of working with brilliant   academic institutions like the University  of Aberdeen previously and I would like to   see that tradition continuing as we move through  the energy transition so for me broad-mindedness   open-mindedness and a willingness to work with  companies who are perhaps more difficult to work   with when you think about their social reputation  to pick up on on what Daria was saying okay thank   you I can see Richard was smiling while you're  talking so I'm going to come back to Richard   next well I must I've actually found working with  companies has been good um but but I think one of   the key things is both parties understanding each  other's drivers and so so the universities or the   institution understanding what drives the company  what their motivation is and trying to understand   that and likewise there's always a perception  with industry that universities are slow   and actually we've quite often found the  Opposites true that quite often we've been   ready to do something and the industry has been  slow but I think that there are it's trying   to work out where the drivers are and what the  motivations are and also having the right language   so um I I've come across colleagues who will go in  and pitch a project to a company and say I'm going   to use a multi-layer perceptron and the company  goes what and and it's they're actually addressing   the problem of the company but the language is  is so I think there's something in there about   um both parties understand each other  and having a common language which works   thank you Dania um I agree with Jenny that there  needs to be more open-mindedness we we are facing   it every day the just transition lab because we  are doing quite a lot of multi-stakeholder work   and I think University here has a very unique  and strong role to be this forum for a more a   more neutral forum for building social consensus  to have Rich discussions and it's not as scary   as it sounds and I hope that there will also be  more open-mindedness on on part of the companies   to work with broader pool of stakeholders  including climate ngos as well so we had an event   um last March where we started inviting people  and suddenly everyone said yes and it was around   energy transition and just transition and I think  at some point everyone started panicking a bit   because our list of invites had certain energy  and oil and gas companies but also Friends of the   earth Scotland and trade unions and city council  and the North Sea transition Authority and I as   an organizer was getting quite nervous I thought  we might end up with a fist fight we might end up   with paint being sprayed all over the university  building but we had a very productive day we had   very rich conversations there were some difficult  conversations and some challenging questions asked   but in the end we had very good feedback we had  quite a lot of points on which people agreed and   there were some points which we did not agree on  and we took it away after a very respectful debate   great thank you Martin yeah I spent my last eight  years in in one of those oil and gas companies in   BP in technology and I'm just going to build on  Richard's point in fact we worked on some of this   collaboration is a contact sport um and I think  one from an industry perspective we're too quick   to generalize a problem rather than actually sit  down and explain the problem and continue to work   with the solution provider so it really needs to  be a contact sport we need to be as committed to   the solution as the solution provider so I I  just we should do more and when we do it we   need to do it really with commitment behind it I  think that's what I would add to that okay thank   you so questions from the floor for the panel  yep I think this was the first one of the year if you could just say who who you are  please just to I I is this working okay hi   um I am a PhD researcher in the department of  geography and environment so my question is for   Martin so he talked about collaboration is there  collaboration being done with the community and   understanding what the community's needs are in  terms of hydrogen and ccos and what's kind of the   process in that and how do you plan to take their  needs on board thank you yes so a good question so   um there's I mentioned projects that are happening  the Aberdeen hydrogen Hub as a for instance   um they've just finished a public consultation  process as part of their planning uh so there's   some structured planning processes um there is  evidence building going on that's one of the the   main drivers for the UK government uh leaving  the decision about how do we decarbonize heat   until 2026 because they want to produce a lot of  evidence and CCS I think is an area that I don't   think is well understood and and I know projects  like storyga or companies like storygo who are   and shell and harbor energy on on acorns are  really working on building awareness and sharing   the information and letting the public make their  own minds up about is this a good thing or is it   not not a good thing I do think there's not a lot  of people the public knowledge and some of these   areas is is low I think there's a real opportunity  to get into schools and start education on that   the very basic level but we all have a job  to do to to better describe what does energy   transition mean what does just transition  mean and what do these Technologies mean   so work yeah work is hap work does happen in that  space it tends to be on a project by project basis   through the formal planning and consenting process  I don't know if anyone wants to add it yeah Jenny   if I can I mean it's not a direct one about formal  consultation and planning but you do raise such an   interesting question about the lack of detailed  understanding across most of the British public   about where their energy comes from because we did  some polling work on it Adobe UK to really work   out what people thought and how they understood  energy and most people we found conflated energy   with electricity so a lot of people have a  good understanding of and how a lot of their   electricity could come from renewable sources but  when it came to the challenge that Martin outlined   in terms of gas and heating and transport that  that they really hadn't thought about so for us   part of that kind of bringing people with us the  social piece that we talked about in transition   key to that is to help people understand more  about where their energy comes from and how we can   take practical steps necessary steps like carbon  capture projects um to to achieve those Net Zero   aims and part of that we found as well is how we  talk about energy and often technical experts talk   in acronyms and in really difficult to understand  language and I think part of that learning for us   as an industry as an integrated energy industry  is to to do better about how we engage with the   public and how we talk about energy and and also  to be proud about what we're doing and we talked   about the region and the Region's impact and  our possibilities to do brilliant things in   Innovation we should be proud of that and unable  and confident to talk publicly about that to bring   communities along with us when it comes to perhaps  more difficult to understand or get your head   around Concepts like carbon capture projects  okay I think there was another one over here hi um just a follow-up to the two panel questions  at the start is this on yeah it's on yeah   um I agree the role of innovation needs more  coordination it's more open dialogue with business   but also needs cash um and I think going back to  Martin's slide at the end of all the 10 entities   that are doing different things and some are jigs  on together and some are overlapping for the UK to   come close to what the US is doing we need I have  a lot of cash and my example was to go back to   the 70s and 80s when all the big oil companies  proactively put you know trillions of dollars   into the UK to build the infrastructure so how my  question is is how can we replicate that sort of   proactive investment to deal with the supply chain  issues that Martin said by trying to exercise all   together provide a bigger voice to business to  get more cash in because it's not going to come   in in handfuls from the UK government so it has  as they come from like corporate investment so my   question is how could you do that okay great who  wants to go first Jenny you bought up my voice by   the end of this um I totally agree with you the  bulk of the cash to transition to Net Zero will   come from private companies and the easiest  thing government can and should be doing is   setting a long-term framework so companies can  plan about their investment decisions because   businesses don't make investment decisions shock  to everybody here on parliamentaries life cycles   businesses make investment decisions over 10  15 20 years and they need the confidence that   government's not going to change the rules halfway  through the game otherwise they won't invest   anyone else want to come in on that matter yes  I mean um another reason we should collaborate   there's many reasons is um I think one very good  bit of policy Regional is the just transition fund   500 million it's not a lot of money but 500  million pounds can go a long way particularly   if it's wealth focused and again building on  that collaboration where we pick the pick the   bets that we think the region really needs to  go after so what is the equivalent of subsea   for energy transition that the region gets  after so I do think there's some hope and   I do applaud the Scottish government for for  making that part of what they are committed to   which is to help this region to have a just  a transition so there's a pot of money that   the region I think it's it's a gift for us to to  make the most of so I think that would help a bit   um and I think projects you know it's to the  point industry when they see things are happening   um they get behind it okay I think  there was another one over there from the Divinity Department I would like  to follow the point made by Jenny about   us not being afraid of initiating difficult or  potentially difficult conversations I'm wondering   where are our Qatari partners right we have a  campus in Qatar we have this links between our   University and the local foundations and the  government isn't there any chance of bringing   those Partners to this conversation  to the mutual benefit of of both sides so that's probably one for me to answer because as  a representative of the senior management team on   the stage um I think I think that's a really  really interesting question and I think what   you perhaps couldn't see was the fact that the  principal was over there smiling and nodding while   you were asking the question I I think what I can  say without giving perhaps too much away is that   we are thinking of running an energy transition  event with our partners in Qatar later this year   to begin exactly those conversations so  that's an incredibly timely question thank you Tavis thanks Pete um the cabinet secretary for  Net Zero and just transitioned Mario McAllen   on Monday made an interesting comment that  the greatest challenge facing the Northeast   around Net Zero is a cultural one more so than  a technical one I wonder what she meant by that do you want to start a soft area sorry  [Laughter] because I work with him   I know all the answers um I haven't been to that  event but I have seen pictures and it looked very   interesting and it's nice to see interest  of the new cabinet secretary in the region   um I think I will maybe answer with reference to  the recent report that we published in the just   transition lab so we have scoured literature  newspaper clippings report research articles   looking at how the oil and gas industry has shaped  the region from the economic and social standpoint   because there's been quite a lot said on how  the oil and gas industry has helped the UK as a   country or Scotland but not a lot on on the region  itself and there's a copy I think one more left   just there and we have found that there's been um  there's been quite a lot of benefits to the region   from the oil and gas industry very clear ones in  terms of employment in terms of average earnings   in terms of infrastructure transport airport You  Name It We have also quite clearly that as Jenny   mentioned there's a sense of Pride and a sense  of you know we have built this we are pioneers   in the North Sea which is today getting a bit  stunted by you know comments and villainization   of the industry as well we have also found a lot  of challenges and that are associated with the oil   price shocks with the slack or forward long-term  planning for transition maybe we're moving a bit   too slow and on the energy transition to to really  go from being an oil Capital to being a net zero   Capital as well and there are clear trends of  the Northeast being a bit too slow to uptake this   discourse on Net Zero on climate change more  skepticism in the region on these issues and   as well which is just ingrained in the society so  I think there's just a lot of work to do both by   us as the university as Educators by the industry  by the industry Association to really bring that   zero to the people great thank you yes so  um good good question I was just thinking   I would I would answer this thing I've got no  contribute then last week at the conference   um decommissioned conference  there was discussion around   transfer of skills um so opito did some really  nice work around what they call the passport for   skills password and the idea was to be a skills  possible which is then allowed to transfer across   into the the offshore neural sector and actually  that's being blocked at the moment by not sure   Renewables the equivalent torpito Frost Renewables  so so we've actually got a culture problem between   this is Renewables this is oil and gas this  is something else this is something else and   actually coming back to Cooperative collaboration  collaboration and coordination side of things   there needs to be a kind of breakdown of some of  that antagonism almost between different sectors   because I think if we don't we'll end up with  people who are got great skills in oil and gas   who can't transfer across because they're or  they're gonna have to do massive retraining   to do something they could have done anyway so  I think I think there is something culturally   not just within Society but I think between the  sectors which can be broken down and just as I   was talking about collaboration between you know  the multiple sectors in terms of the Innovation   side thing so I think I think that different  energy sectors need to kind of break down that   culture difference and look at energy as a whole  because if we don't look at engines as a whole   we're going to do a little bit of this a little  bit of that and nothing's going to be coordinated   okay I'm very conscious that I've been given the  wind up signal uh so so we better bring things   to a close I think I think um this is probably a  conversation that could go on for for the rest of   the afternoon and into the evening but um I'd hope  that we can carry it on in the in the networking   session later so I hope you'll join with me now  in thanking Martin and the other panel members thanks and panel members will now leave  the stage and I'd like to invite   the principal Professor George  Boyne to come back and join us thanks to all of you for joining us  this afternoon for this celebration   of our foundational purpose and celebration of  research with impact it seems entirely appropriate   that we complete our Celebration by recognizing  the achievements of some of our PhD students   because these are the people with the bright  ideas that will be breaking the paradigms and   bringing us new developments in thinking in  conceptualization in theory in technology in   the years ahead that will help us to get to the  destinations that you've been discussing today   and especially that one we've just heard about  about becoming the Net Zero capital of Europe   I do Wonder whoever whether the idea of  a single capital is a little outdated   we collaborate around the world with Curtin in  Perth Australia in Qatar thanks for the question   about Qatar in Calgary where we're working  with other experts on energy transition so   rather than seeing ourselves as a capital I think  we could more usefully see ourselves as a nude at   the middle of a Global Network where we're all  working together to make the transition happen   let's move now then to the prizes that we're  going to award first of all the three-minute   thesis winner and I'm delighted to announce that  the winner of our three-minute thesis competition   which celebrates the research conducted by PhD  students the winner of our competition by the   way goes on to compete at National level  this year we have a double winner of our   judge's choice and People's Choice who is Nicola  rice from the School of Engineering [Applause] next I'm coming to our images of research winners   I'm not going to announce three winners for the  images of research competition which challenges   PhD students to present their research in  an eye-catching image and short description   in second place rifky wijinarco from  the school of geosciences [Applause]   we have two more to to award  in first place in this category   Berea Fatima from the school of social sciences and our final

2023-06-06 08:48

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