Orkney outlines sustainable energy path driven by innovation

Launch of Orkney Sustainable Energy Strategy (Photo: Colin Keldie)

A Sustainable Energy Strategy for Orkney was launched last week as part of the official opening of the Surf ‘n’ Turf hydrogen community energy project.

The strategy presents a vision for the islands – A low carbon economy driven uniquely by innovation and collaboration, enabling the community to achieve ambitious carbon reduction targets, address fuel poverty and provide energy systems solutions to the world.

It sets out five targets for Orkney:

  • The achievement of ambitious carbon reduction targets.
  • The reduction and eradication of fuel poverty in Orkney.
  • Positioning Orkney as the globally recognized innovation region to develop solutions for the world’s energy systems challenges.
  • Ensuring a secure energy supply during transition to a low carbon future.
  • Maximizing economic opportunity and investment in Orkney.

The strategy has been developed in partnership by, among others, Orkney Islands Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Community Energy Scotland (CES) and the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF), on behalf of the wider community.

A copy of the strategy was presented to Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, who performed the opening ceremony for the CES-led Surf ‘n’ Turf project.

James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council, said: “An innovative and inclusive approach to sustainable energy development lies at the heart of the strategy. This is exemplified by Surf ‘n’ Turf, a world leading project that reflects the ambition of our community in taking forward projects with the potential to greatly benefit our islands – and support wider national and international efforts to bring about carbon reduction.”

Graeme Harrison, HIE area manager in Orkney, said: “Energy is a key growth sector for the Highlands and Islands and one of our top priorities. There are huge opportunities in sustainable energy development and Orkney is at the heart of this. This new strategy is about securing environmental, economic and social benefits in Orkney as well as keeping the islands group at the forefront of sustainable energy development internationally.”

The next step will be to develop an action plan to help the islands reach these goals set out in the Sustainable Energy Strategy, according to the Orkney islands Council.