Harnessing the power of the wind and the seas around Shetland to generate renewable energy offers huge potential for the islands to lead the way in clean energy innovation, including green hydrogen production.

Renewable energy could offer the most significant step change in Shetland’s economy since the discovery of North Sea Oil and Gas nearly 50 years ago. We are extremely fortunate in Shetland to have a substantial quantity of renewable energy resource in and around Shetland, which is estimated at 2,200 gigawatt hours per annum.

We are currently only harnessing energy from a tiny fraction of this with just over 16,000KW of renewable energy installed across domestic and commercial systems. But that is changing.

By investing in renewable energy solutions, Shetland has the opportunity to continue exporting energy to the wider world, diversifying our economy and creating opportunities for future generations.

High output windfarms already exist in Shetland, including community-owned assets, and several major onshore developments are either under construction or have been consented.

The islands are also home to the world's first array of tidal turbines in the Bluemull Sound between Yell and Unst, which is also home to the Pure Energy Centre.

There are also plans to develop offshore windfarms in the NE1 site to the east of Bressay, that would generate around 3GW of energy, potentially ushering in a new era of energy-related work in the islands.

Much of this renewable energy could be used to fuel the ambitious plans being pursued by the ORION Clean Energy Project. As a collaboration between Shetland Islands Council, Net Zero Technology Centre, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the University of Strathclyde, and industry partners, ORION aims to make Shetland a world leading clean energy island, and deliver innovative technologies as well as 1,000 energy sector jobs.

Opportunities exist for developers working in the wind (both offshore and onshore), wave and tidal power sectors. For more information contact Katrina Wiseman, Head of Business Growth at Highland and Islands Enterprise to find out more. Email katrina.wiseman@hient.co.uk or call +44 (0)1595 744 909.