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Oil and gas expertise to help renewables sector The Kyoto Protocol and European ...

Oil and gas expertise to help renewables sector The Kyoto Protocol and European Union (EU) 2020 energy targets are slowly altering the energy industry landscape, gradually shifting energy consumption from coal, oil and gas, towards renewable energy sources, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan - Diversification of oil and gas companies into the renewable energy industry. To meet stated renewable energy goals while concurrently severing dependence on foreign oil and gas imports, EU governments are laying favourable groundwork for attracting investments into the renewable energy industry and other carbon abatement technologies. A carbon-free future threatens oil and gas companies with declining business growth in Europe, unless they successfully transfer their technology and skills into renewable energy where they can potentially discover more new business opportunities, the report says. One of the most attractive renewable energy areas for oil and gas companies is offshore wind. The offshore wind market - fast growing and backed by government support - must nevertheless overcome bottlenecks in the supply of components and a lack of purpose-built installations. The oil and gas industry can help offshore wind through experience and technology transfer and sharing equipment and labour force, the report says. Oil and gas companies could also help to grow the geothermal energy market. Although mature, the geothermal market requires investments to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs. Oil and gas companies can offer their drilling expertise and services. Solar energy also has great potential, but still needs to be subsidised in order to develop further. The high cost of equipment and the dependency on government support is a restraint to investors, says the report. However, the oil and gas industry can play a part in bringing engineering and research and development expertise to help lower equipment costs. The marine energy market can adapt some of the offshore oil and gas technologies. Marine energy is a non-intermittent and highly efficient renewable energy source. However, without clearer government support and expanded technical expertise, marine energy is the least attractive for investors. However, the report suggests the subsea oil and gas industry could transfer skills and technologies to facilitate this market’s growth.

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