Island Orkney

The profile of the island
Location North coast of Scotland
Area 990 km²
Number of inhabitants 22,190
Climate Cool climate which is surprisingly mild at such a northerly latitude. Wind all year round with strong, frequent gales during winter
EMEC Caldale substation and hydrogen plant ©see Imprint

Island’s energy mix and energy agenda

Orkney has overcome a series of energy challenges to become a European leader in the testing and application of new energy technologies. From the wind, sun, waves and tide, Orkney has been producing over 100% of its electricity for nearly a decade. The ratio between produced and consumed energy is 130%. Despite this, 757 GWh of fuel are still used each year and the level of fuel poverty is relatively high.

Past and current projects/initiatives in the field of energy

More marine energy generation technologies have been demonstrated in Orkney than anywhere else in the world. Orkney hosts the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), one of the first centres in the world, to provide open-sea wave and tidal testing facilities. EMEC leads several EU funded projects including BIG HIT, a project focusing on the production of green hydrogen on the islands of Eday and Shapinsay using wind and tidal energy, as well as the innovative UKRI funded ReFLEX project which aims on demonstrating a virtual power plant interlinking electricity, transport and heat networks.

Island’s energy infrastructure

Orkney has 659 domestic wind turbines and 373 solar installations. The island has the highest concentration of wind turbines of the UK. Orkney has 2.0kW of renewable energy capacity per home – 900% higher than the UK average. Orkney has 12 times more domestic renewable heat installations per home and 375% more Electric Vehicles (EV) per home than the UK average and the first to have a second hand EV market.

ISLANDER related activities

Located in Stromness in Orkney, EMEC represents one of the Follower Islands of the project and oversees the replication activities as well as a high-level feasibility study for replication across all EU islands.