Energy in the Highlands
Much has changed since the discovery of rich oil and gas reserves off the coast of Scotland. Not least the discovery of even richer and more sustainable sources of energy.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is the Scottish Government’s economic development agency for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. With a unique remit, combining economic and community development, HIE is ideally placed to lead the drive towards sustainable energy production.
The Highlands and Islands’ geographical position, with its expanse of coastal waters, strong waves and tides, makes it one of the best locations in Europe for spearheading offshore wind, wave and tidal power. Meanwhile onshore wind, hydro-electric and biomass schemes are powering local communities.
Over £90m of investment in the network of ports and harbours here means this region is also well placed to service the oil and gas sector which has seen an increase of activity on a scale similar to the pioneering days of the 1970s and 1980s. This investment has not been missed by the renewables sector either, with businesses able to develop, test and improve their technologies in ideal conditions along the coastline of the area.
Wave resources are formidable around the coast of the Highlands and Islands. The conditions have attracted developers to develop and test their technologies here at the world leading European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney and committed to developing commercial scale projects off the vast Highlands and Islands coastline. Supply chain companies are also across the region, actively supporting the work of these businesses. http://www.hi-energy.org.uk/Renewables/Wave-Energy.htm
The area has ideal conditions for the development of tidal energy, particularly in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters. Argyll and Shetland. Other possible areas include the islands, Argyll and the Shetland Islands. World class commercial scale testing is available at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and developers are already committed to developing demonstration and commercial scale projects. Supply chain companies are also across the region, actively supporting the work of these businesses. http://www.hi-energy.org.uk/Renewables/Tidal-Energy.htm
Hi-Marine Energy Park
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park is able to provide the overall positive business environment to bring wave and tidal projects through to commercial viability and to secure economic and social benefit from the developments. It also offers academic knowledge and industry expertise, and access to a range of public and private sector organizations committed development of the wave and tidal sector. http://www.hi-energy.org.uk/hi-marine-energy-park.htm
The area’s network of ports and harbours has seen a committed investment of over £90m since 2010. This means the region can service both the renewables sector and also oil and gas businesses. Deep water facilities and space to manufacture are the hallmarks of the facilities, with a supply chain able to support a wide range activities. http://www.hi-energy.org.uk/infrastructure.htm
HIE works in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) to identify and secure new international investors to the Highlands and Islands, attracted by the wealth of natural resource, industry experience and infrastructure assets found in the region.
We have many examples of the way we work with businesses in the Highlands and Islands. Please go to http://www.hi-energy.org.uk/HI-energy-Explore/Case-Studies.htm for more information.