As the renewable energy industry gears up for the most glittering night of the year, a number of Highlands and Islands companies are looking to bring home prestigious Green Energy Awards.
The event, now in its 11th year, is anticipated to be the biggest yet. Being held at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Thursday (6th December), the sold-out Scottish Green Energy Awards are set to welcome a record 1,000 guests.
The Scottish Green Energy Awards were established by Scottish Renewables in December 2002 to bring together industry leaders to honour, acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of individuals and organisations in the renewable energy industry in Scotland
There are now 11 award categories which have been created to represent areas that are essential for the development and growth of the renewable energy industry, and to highlight the positive economic and environmental work and contribution that Scotland is making both nationally and internationally.
This year sees a good spread of local companies and individuals being nominated for awards in a number of categories. Three community initiatives are shortlisted in the Best Community Initiative Award - Allt Dearg Community Wind Farm, Community Power Orkney and Horshader Community, while two local MSPs, Rob Gibson and Liam McArthur are both nominated in the Best Politician category,.
There are also Highlands and Islands nominations in the following categories: Best Project – Edinbane Onshore Wind Farm; Contribution to Skills and Training – Nigg Skills Academy and SSE’s Inverness Pilot Scheme; Contribution to Supply Chain Development – SSE’s Highland Portal (Open4Business); and Best Public Sector Initiative – Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at HIE, who will be addressing the guests during the opening reception, said: "The Scottish Green Energy Awards are a great celebration of the people and businesses that are supporting and delivering the renewable energy revolution here in Scotland, a revolution that is ensuring that renewable energy is Scotland’s newest rural industry. Our region is right at the forefront of Scotland's world-leading renewable energy sector, and I am delighted to see it being recognised on the shortlist for these prestigious awards."
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The shortlist reflects the huge strength we have in Scotland’s homegrown renewable energy sector, in our supply chain and in the individuals that have all worked incredibly hard to make it another successful year for the industry.
“The renewables industry has a lot to celebrate and the Scottish Green Energy Awards is a great way for us to do just that.”
Businesses and individuals from the Highlands and Islands have performed well at these awards in past years, with winners including the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso, winning the Contribution to Skills and Training Award in 2011, and the Tiree Renewable Energy Company winning Best Community Initiative in 2010.
With a keynote address from Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP and the host for the awards being Fred MacAulay, the stage is set for what promises to be a magnificent evening in the renewables calendar.
The GEA Brand - For the 10th anniversary in 2011, the new Scottish Green Energy Awards brand was created to bring new energy to this successful event. The brand was created using an orb to represent evolving green energy and the orb has been brought to life using slow shutter photography to create unique imagery.
The 11 awards categories are: