Delivering UK energy security is difficult but not unachievable

Providing clarity to the UK Supply Chain is vital for the future energy sector

An article by Colin Elcoate, CEO of Alderley

5 October 2022

It has taken a global energy security crisis for governments around the world as well as their populations to recognise the true value of the energy that drives our economies and makes our everyday lives possible.

With so much present focus on energy, there has arguably never been a better time to figure out what energy sources we need now and for the long-term.

Clearly, with the focus on securing energy sources ahead of a potentially cold Northern Hemisphere winter, hydrocarbons are once again viewed and properly valued for what they deliver – reliable, affordable, ‘always-on’ energy.  They remain central to a balanced energy portfolio in addition to low carbon sources like nuclear, renewables, hydrogen, and battery storage.

Alderley welcomes the recent indications from the UK government to refocus on the North Sea and seek home-grown, secure sources of energy.  This reflects a common-sense approach in difficult times while not forgetting the long-term goal of Net Zero by 2050.  Why import expensive and often unreliable energy from abroad when the UK has easy access to it on its doorstep?

For the UK, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop new technologies to support North Sea oil and gas and to make the industry more sustainable.  But there is also an opportunity to do a more diverse range of things to cope with the uncertainties of the future.  We must cover all the bases to ensure that we have the right blend of generation and a home-grown industry to support it in all its guises so that we don’t miss out on the opportunities to stimulate new areas of the UK supply chain.

This means developing the infrastructure needed to deliver carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) at scale and building out the hydrogen economy by seeking new, innovative solutions from the UK supply chain.

But to make this happen we need to elevate the importance and role of the supply chain, which must be supported by firm policy and investment commitments to compete for the new opportunities emerging in the domestic energy sector. 

For the supply chain itself, it is about looking outside narrow areas of the energy sector to future-proof businesses.

For Alderley, this has meant investing in new capability ahead of the curve to equip us and our clients for the new UK market reality.  For this reason, we’ve invested heavily in digital, consultancy and aftermarket services to improve the efficiency and performance of energy assets.

We’ve also launched a new Compex hazardous materials training centre at our headquarters near Bristol in the South West to develop the next generation of talent with the first participants all completing the course with flying colours.

In addition, this year we signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with emerging climate tech business Levidian to establish a platform whereby Alderley’s solutions could aid their proprietary LOOP technology that cracks methane into hydrogen and carbon.

If we are to build a new vision for UK energy, we must prioritise British content that will enable the supply chain throughout the country to reinvest future profits into a skilled and talented new workforce able to tackle the energy challenges of the mid-twenty-first century.   


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