Orkney ‘is at forefront of shift to net zero world’

A £28.5m project on the archipelago is working to combine technology with renewable energy to provide intelligent heat, power and transport services

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Orkney ‘is at the forefront of a green energy revolution’ as the world moves towards a carbon-neutral future.

That’s according to Professor David Flynn of Heriot-Watt University’s School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Lead Academic behind the ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) Orkney project currently being trialled on the archipelago off Scotland’s north coast.

The £28.5 million programme aims to create the world’s first large-scale ‘smart local energy system’ by combining technology with renewable energy to provide intelligent heat, power and transport services.

Professor Flynn said: “ReFLEX is a community project working with people in the community from the outset. Globally, we will see a trend in decentralised energy systems, so what happens in Orkney can be replicated throughout the world.

“As the world transitions away from carbon-heavy energy sources and increasingly towards renewable sources, I believe there will be an opportunity of moving towards a more democratic energy market that places some of the ‘power’ back into the hands of the community. So not only are we trying to reduce costs to consumers within a resilient low carbon system, but also provide them with opportunities to engage and generate revenue.”

ReFLEX Orkney is led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and brings together a host of partners including Heriot-Watt, Aquatera, Solo Energy, Community Energy Scotland, Orkney Islands Council, and Doosan.