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Energy in our region

Energy in the Highlands and Islands

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.

Pioneering the alternative energy revolution

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.
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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 here


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