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The Highlands and Islands is at the forefront of Europe's energy industry.

Oil Rig 1


The region's strong legacy in the oil and gas industry, and abundance of renewable energy resources, mean it is ideally placed to be at the forefront of the energy industry.

Here you can find out about ground-breaking work many local companies are involved in, from research and development to full-scale test facilities. It's also where you'll find the latest news and analysis from the energy sector plus full coverage of the markets we work in.

Employment in the energy sector stood at 69,000 in 2020, accounting for 2.7% of employment in Scotland and 20.8% of employment in energy across Great Britain. In 2019, total turnover in the sector was £39bn and totalled £19bn.

For the Highlands and Islands, the transition to net zero represents a very significant economic, social and industrial opportunity. Our oil and gas industry will continue to play a key role in supplying energy, but will also provide the skills and expertise to support our transition to a highly productive, net zero future. Low carbon and renewable energy are both fast-growing areas of opportunity and significant contributors to Scotland’s economy. A sustainable and successful energy sector in the Highlands and Islands will underpin wider regional economic growth.

We at HIE will remain strong advocates for the industry as it continues to thrive; supporting our supply chain to innovate and internationalise and our communities to transition to a strong and sustainable low carbon economy.
Audrey MacIver, director of energy and low carbon, HIE

Energy stats


of jobs supported in this sector


turnover for Scotland in 2015


of electricity produced by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm


of oil and gas activity in the Highlands and Islands

Energy Web 3


Overall, the region has become a world leader in the development and production of renewable energy, particularly offshore.

It has already amassed a strong, knowledgeable supply chain of complementary companies that can conceive, devise, test, manufacture, install, operate, distribute and support renewable energy technology - from research to full-scale commercial implementation. Here are just some of the many pioneering initiatives in this exciting sector:

  • The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is based in Orkney. Developers from all over the world are able to test prototype wave and tidal devices in ideal conditions.
  • High above the southwestern tip of Loch Ness, the UK’s largest hydro scheme for 30 years is in place at Glendoe.
  • SIMEC Atlantis' MeyGen project is the world's largest tidal stream array project and is located in the Pentland Firth. The company has plans to grow the project significantly in the coming years. 
  • The region is home to the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm - A £2.6bn project comprising 84 turbines and producing 588MW of electricity - enough to power around 450,000 homes. The first power was delivered in 2018 and the project is now fully operational.
  • Several hundred businesses across the Highlands and Islands are active in the energy industry, including electrical installers, crane hire, haulage, civil engineering, environmental consultants and many more. These projects and companies contribute to a healthy, dynamic supply chain, which in turn lends itself to economic growth and employment across the region.

Energy Investment Fund

The Energy Investment Fund (‘EIF’) is a Scottish Government Fund managed by the Scottish Investment Bank. It builds on the success of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, providing commercial investment for renewable and low carbon energy solutions.

Apply for the fund


We can help you to find opportunities, and sources of funding, in order to allow your business to grow and develop.

Contact us

Community energy

We've been supporting communities with local energy developments since 2002. We have a range of support available, either directly from us or through our partners.

Support for community energy

Aerial view of Orkney


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