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Scotland's energy facts

Sgurr Energy. Director of Operations, Alan Smith with colleagues at Sgurr's Glasgow HQ.

Energy sector in Scotland

Latest stats and facts on Scotland's energy sector. Published February 2021.

Industry profile

The energy sector in Scotland is made up of a broad range of activities associated with the exploration, development, production and supply of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon energy sources.

It's one of Scotland’s largest sectors by value. 45% of the UK’s overall energy needs in 2018 was met by the oil and gas sector, with 82% of all UK oil & gas production coming from Scottish waters.

Oil and gas supply chain companies are currently facing extreme challenges presented by Covid-19 and a subsequent oil price crash. Support provided to the sector and a potential sector deal will aid its recovery, ensuring skills and expertise are retained.

The transition to net zero will be at the heart of its recovery plans. Companies are increasingly committing to energy transition. Examples include hybrid energy storage systems and hybrid-powered floating rigs reshaping the offshore supply chain.

EC-OG energy hub being worked on at Hydrus in Brechin. Picture shows the Paul Slorach from EC-OG cleaning the Drivetrain.

Scottish oil and gas stats

101,400 employment*

39% of UK oil and gas employment (2018)

£9bn GVA

5.1% of total Scottish GDP (2019)

£10.9bn international sales*

£3.7bn export sales/£7.2bn international subsidiaries sales (2018/19)

Scottish low carbon stats

23,100 employment*

10.3% of total UK low carbon employment (2018)

£6.4bn turnover*

13.7% of total UK low carbon turnover (2018)

*includes supply chain

Staff and processes taken at Tokheim UK in Dundee

Low carbon and renewables

Scottish oil and gas supply chain companies are also increasingly diversifying into the low carbon and renewable energy sector, providing the skills and expertise to drive the nation’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Scotland already has a well-established onshore wind sector and substantial onshore wind capacity, met just over half of the nation’s total electricity demand in 2018.

Scotland is also building market leading positions in emerging renewable technologies, via a combination of strong policy support, ambitious decarbonisation targets, extensive generation potential and a highly skilled company and academic base.

Among the world leading projects developed and hosted in Scotland are the world’s first tidal array, world’s first floating offshore wind farm and one of Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleets.

Scotland is also pioneering new approaches to the production, management and use of energy at a local level, incorporating technologies such as battery storage and hydrogen generation.

Company insight

Energy** companies surveyed between August and December 2020
Biggest challenges
  • 65% impact of Covid-19
  • 30% accessing finance and investment
Biggest opportunities
  • 52% international opportunities
  • 39% developing new products/services

**aggregation of reported oil and gas and renewables sectors

Sharing expertise at the Scottish pavilion, Offshore Europe 2017

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