Energy industry sector
On this page you can find out more information about the energy industry in Aberdeenshire.
Aberdeenshire is home to some key energy assets including St Fergus Gas Terminal, which processes around one third of the UK’s natural gas requirements, Peterhead Power Station, which has a production capacity of over 1300 Megawatts, capacity to supply most of the North of Scotland's electricity needs.
Aberdeenshire has strong engineering credentials with particular strengths in gas turbine overhaul and repair, subsea and process plant valves, temperature controlled vehicles, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), offshore accommodation, control and storage modules and well pressure control equipment.
Westhill is a global centre of excellence in subsea engineering claiming the largest concentration of subsea engineering expertise in the world and known within the industry as SURF City (Subsea Umbilicals, Risers and Flowlines).
Peterhead harbour, the North east’s leading deep sea port catering for a wide range of users from Offshore supply vessels, subsea support vessels, heavy lift barges, tankers and cruise liners, with the 200m Smith Quay and 16000 square metres of adjacent land. 15% of the UK's natural gas supplies are handled through St Fergus Gas Terminal.
With over 10 Megawatts of biomass boilers in operation, a robust supply chain of wood chip producers and two wood pellet plants in production, Aberdeenshire is well placed to provide locally sourced renewable fuel for heating, which accounts for some 45% of Scotland’s primary energy demand.
Wood pellets are seen as the optimal local solution for meeting domestic heating needs and their adoption is promoted by the Council in several ways.
A strong advocate of energy efficiency, Aberdeenshire Council promotes higher than national standards in building construction and thermal efficiency, recognising the importance of reducing demand through design as a starting point for all processes.
With over 300 Megawatts of onshore wind power consented and some 108 Megawatts in production, the area is at the forefront of medium scale wind turbine developments, with around half of the installed capacity of wind turbines in the area locally owned, probably the highest degree of local ownership in the country.
Across Aberdeenshire there are some 600 old mill sites, many of which offer scope for small scale hydro electricity generation using infrastructure previously used to provide mechanical power. In addition there are several old turbine sites that have generated electricity in the past and have the potential to be recommissioned.
An excellent example is a site at Strathdon which employs a modern Archimedes screw to generate 70kW of renewable electricity, making use of infrastructure that has been in place for over 50 years.
Satisfying the energy needs of the area will mean a mix of technologies and scales and the Council has set itself demanding targets for reducing its emissions, its dependence on finite resources and its overall demand for energy.
Global demand for energy is pushing the boundaries of knowledge, capability and know how in the quest for oil and gas production from reservoirs below the sea beds of the oceans which account for over 70% of the world’s surface area.
An increasing amount of production infrastructure is located between the seabed and surface of the sea and what happens in this zone is the domain of one of the UK’s big success stories, the Subsea Engineering Industry.
Worth some £20billion on a worldwide basis and growing at a rate of around 20% annually, UK based companies control some 45% of the global market with around 30% of this value, a staggering £2.7billion, earned in or from North east Scotland with a focus on Westhill Aberdeenshire.
Find out more about energy industry and opportunities in Aberdeenshire:
- Part 1 - Wind Energy Guidance for Developer (PDF 1.3MB)
- Part 2 - Wind Energy Guidance for Assessing (PDF 1.5MB)
- Opportunities and costs of installing these technologies in the home, community or workplace (PDF 360KB)
Acorn is an ambitious programme designed to tackle climate change by dealing with industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other ‘hard to decarbonise’ sectors. By making use of oil and gas pipelines that are already in place, offshore geology that is ideal for permanently storing CO2, and a region that is embracing hydrogen as a fuel of the future, this project is a really important catalyst for the next phase of the UK’s journey to Net Zero.
There are two key elements to the Acorn project:
- Acorn carbon capture and storage (CSS) is a project specifically designed to overcome one of the acknowledged blockers to CCS deployment in the UK – the high capital costs involved in getting started. Based at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire, Acorn CCS can repurpose existing gas pipelines to take CO2 directly to the Acorn CO2 storage site. With this important pipeline infrastructure already in place, Acorn CCS can get started using existing CO2 emissions– captured directly from the gas processing units at the St Fergus gas terminal.
- Acorn Hydrogen is the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire, where the Acorn CCS infrastructure is being built, is the first landing point for around a third of all the natural gas used across the UK. Acorn Hydrogen can take North Sea natural gas and reform it into clean burning hydrogen with the CO2 emissions created from generating the hydrogen, safely removed and stored using the Acorn CCS infrastructure.
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