To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support (a) skills and (b) research and development in (i) low emission oil and gas extraction and (ii) hydrogen production; and what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of those technologies to export industry.
We will support the offshore oil and gas sector with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which we have committed to deliver within this Parliament. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchor the supply chain to the UK.
The oil and gas sector has an important part to play in sustaining our energy security of supply, and in the energy transition to support net zero, having many of the essential skills and capabilities in its world class supply chain to support emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production, and infrastructure to reduce its production emissions. Developing this capability will help provide significant export opportunities as the world moves towards clean energy.
In 2016, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established with £180 million funding, supported by the UK and Scottish Governments. The Centre aims to encourage, accelerate, and deliver innovation and innovative technologies in the North Sea as we transition to net zero.
We are committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. In line with this we are currently investing up to £121 million in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the production and potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain.
In November 2019, we published the Energy Innovation Needs Assessment for hydrogen and fuel cells. This identified that the future market for all hydrogen technologies could yield around £5.3bn of gross value added and create nearly 50,000 jobs by 2050 to meet demand in export and domestic markets.