Helping to drive forward the region's renewable energy sector Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is this week sponsoring a conference focusing on challenges facing the marine renewables industry.
The Scottish Renewables Marine Energy seminar takes place tomorrow (Thursday November 12) at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness bringing together some of Scotland's leading representatives from the marine energy industry.
Together with its partners HIE is committed to building the region into a world leader in the development and production of renewable energy and has a strong role in marine energy development and in the major advances being made in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
“The vast potential of this area will deliver investment, jobs and opportunities to communities in and around Orkney and the Pentland Firth, benefiting the whole of Scotland,” said Alex Paterson, director of regional competitiveness at HIE.
“The Highlands and Islands are already leading the UK's drive towards a sustainable energy future. Some of the best wave and tidal resources in the world can be found off the north and north-west coasts of Scotland. Marine energy presents a huge opportunity for businesses in the Highlands and Islands.”
The agency has actively contributed to the publication of the joint industry and Government 'Marine Energy Road Map' which provides an up-to-date overview of the marine energy industry in Scotland and actions required to secure a contribution to 2020 targets from marine renewables. HIE is also about to commission a study aimed at identifying current supply chain capacity for the offshore renewable sector. This will highlight opportunities for the region's operators and for inward investors to explore, ensuring that the full economic benefits of the industry are realised in Scotland.
HIE is currently developing additional opportunities for businesses involved in every aspect of the energy industry to improve their order books by raising their profile through an energy industry PR campaign, run jointly with the North of Scotland Industries Group (NSIG).
Elaine Hanton, joint head of HIE's energy team said: “We have some highly skilled and innovative operators in the region. HIE has been working with them and with the North of Scotland Industries Group to identify best methods of promoting the goods and services available in this region to the global marketplace.”