Council’s Climate Change Programme secures Net Zero funding

February 13, 2023
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Press release from the Shetland Islands Council

Shetland Islands Council – Shetland Islands Council

Shetland Islands Council has been awarded a grant of £52,648 from the Net Zero Living Programme towards an energy and transport feasibility study in Shetland.

The Net Zero Living Programme is funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, and this Phase One funding aims to support 31 innovative places to accelerate their transition to net zero.

The Council led project is called the ‘Shetland Rural Energy Hub’ and will be undertaken in collaboration with Aquatera and Community Energy Scotland. The study will run from the 1st April to 30th June 2023.

The project is a feasibility study to investigate the ‘non-technical barriers’ to implementing a rural energy and transport hub in Shetland. This was framed using the six categories in the recently published Net Zero Route Maps:

  • Transport
  • Energy Use
  • Reuse, Recycling & Waste
  • Business & Industry
  • Buildings
  • Land Use

The study will make use of earlier and ongoing work by the Council to identify potential ways to decarbonise key sectors, and reach net zero through an integrated energy and transport hub.  It seeks to address the following barriers that have been identified so far:

  • Regulation
  • Grid capacity
  • Resource (skills and capacity)
  • Behavioural change
  • Lack of data

All organisations are partners in the Islands Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ), a new 10-year programme that begins this summer.  Orkney also received funding through the programme, and the two islands’ projects will link through the new Islands Growth Deal.

Successful projects from Phase One of the Net Zero Living Programme will be invited to apply to Phase Two, which will fund up to six places, with the potential of up to £5m per project, to deliver their innovative net zero plans.

Moraig Lyall, Chair of the Council’s Environment and Transport Committee said:  “The Net Zero Route Maps have increased our success at accessing funding, and it is great that we are moving into the action phase in working towards targets and realising our ambitions for Shetland’s future.  Locally focussed projects like the Shetland Rural Energy Hub will have many benefits for the Shetland community.”

Ian Johnstone, Aquatera Director said: “We are excited to be supporting Shetland Islands Council in the innovative Shetland Rural Energy Hub project to explore the feasibility of delivering decarbonisations through a model of rural energy hubs.  Shetland has been doing pioneering work in decarbonisation for years and this funding provides an important opportunity to draw on learning from previous projects, to consider solutions to overcome the non-technical barriers that have already been encountered and how we can then accelerate the route to net zero.”

Mark Hull, Chief Technical Officer, Community Energy Scotland said:  “Delighted to be playing our part in this innovative and farsighted project. Once again apparently remote Island Communities are at the centre of driving practical, but potentially radical, progress and transition; showing ways we can all prosper, creating local solutions to our global challenge.”

Notes for editors


Originally published on 10 February.

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