In 2011, the Government Economic Strategy established a new strategic priority - Transition to a Low Carbon Economy - to reflect the current opportunity to place Scotland in an advantageous position in the global economy and ensure that the benefits of transformational change are shared across the country.
For the Highlands and Islands, our plentiful natural and renewable resources, allied with world-class expertise, present a great opportunity for the region to play a significant role in delivering this priority.
In developing the renewable energy sector, HIE will focus development, inward investment and infrastructure activity on marine energy and offshore wind, recognising that infrastructure, fabrication and supply chain activities will also support wave and tidal development.
Investment in digital communications technology will deliver benefits not only in terms of increased business performance, but will reduce the need to travel, impacting on the carbon footprint of the region.
HIE is working with Transport Scotland and Scottish Enterprise on strategies for enabling developments in low carbon transport, including vehicle technologies for road transport in rural and island areas. We will also continue to work with HITRANS and Transport Scotland to secure improvements in public transport (especially rail services) that offer low carbon alternatives to car journeys.
Through account management we will support businesses, social enterprises and communities to capitalise on low carbon opportunities in the environmental and clean technology sectors and encourage and support them to maximise resource efficiency and minimise waste. The Scottish Energy and Resource Efficiency Service (SERES) framework will be an essential advisory resource and HIE will help establish the Business Resource and Energy Efficiency Service. We will identify key support products and provide these to clients.