Liz McRobb: Powering ahead in dynamic, challenging and interesting times

In the eye of the pandemic storm, clean energy continued to push boundaries and provide jobs and opportunities.

Liz McRobb
Liz McRobb

Whether through the huge offshore projects at one end of the spectrum, or by consumer demand to “buy green” at the other, the transition away from fossil fuels is resulting in something that looks much like an industrial revolution.

And the benefits are being seen by businesses across this spectrum.

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Offshore wind is driving investment in operations and maintenance. And, once the outcome of the ScotWind leasing round is announced in early 2022, new vessels and technologies will continue to lead to investment in Scottish ports and harbours.

Oil and gas majors and their supply chains are busier than ever – the talk of “going green” in previous years has accelerated in the past two years, with firms such as TotalEnergies and BP successful in the Crown Estate’s Round 4 offshore process in England earlier this year.

As offshore wind moves to commercialise floating technologies, it seems likely that the blending of oil and gas and renewable energy skills will continue, with more M&A and joint venture activity in this sector.

The climate crisis and consumer pressure is also driving huge change. At Shepherd and Wedderburn, our desks are now full of major projects to deploy more electric vehicle infrastructure at scale for a range of businesses.

Investment in hydrogen will also be a key part of the future energy mix. The UK’s Hydrogen Strategy highlights its vital role in helping to deliver power to key industrial sectors and provide flexible energy for power, heat and transport.

In short, there has never been a more dynamic, challenging, engaging and interesting time to be a lawyer involved in the energy sector.

- Liz McRobb is partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn

This article first appeared in The Scotsman’s Legal Review 2021