Our Islands (Shetland, Outer Hebrides and Orkney) have a shared ambition to spearhead decarbonisation, leading Scotland towards its 2045 net zero target and the rest of the UK by 2050.

This will build upon our natural resources (becoming major renewable hubs), skills and assets and bring the tools we need to deliver a lasting community-driven energy transition. The purpose of ICNZ is to coordinate efforts to deliver against this overarching decarbonisation aim. Each component of the Centre will satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Acceleration of a just decarbonisation across the three island groups
  2. Green job creation and transition in the islands
  3. Generation of new enterprise and revenue streams
  4. Support Islands Deal projects’ achievement of decarbonisation goals
  5. Development of internationally recognised islands transition expertise and capabilities, transferable beyond Orkney, Shetland, and Outer Hebrides.

The challenge

The islands each have diverse and somewhat complex economies due to the combination of remoteness, natural resources, climate and economic heritage.
These islands have been at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise electricity and are collectively focused upon decarbonising their whole energy systems.

The Sankey diagram below shows the present mix of energy types used across the three island groups. Fossil fuels account for at least 78% of the islands’ energy consumption including petrol, diesel, heating oil and fuel oil. Lifeline transport links account for 41% of total demand whilst largely off-gas grid; makes the main heating solutions expensive, inefficient and carbon-intensive.