Argyll & Bute has access to a huge unique and significant mix of indigenous renewable energy resources in hydro, wind, wave, tidal and biomass. The region’s eastern borders are close to Scotland’s central belt, while its Western Seaboard is close to Ireland, creating power supply opportunities to large urban areas and rural communities on both sides of the Irish Sea.
The potential for renewable energy in Argyll and the Islands has attracted the interest of developers and fired the imagination of public bodies and private investors alike.
Argyll and Bute Renewable Alliance (ABRA) coordinate’s the contributions of relevant agencies, developers and stakeholders to assist in realising its vision to be at the heart of renewable development in Scotland. ‘ABRA’ was formed to maximise the economic opportunities from renewable energy.
Argyll and the Islands is no stranger to innovation; the region is home to over 1GW of consented and operational renewable energy developments with substantial ongoing activity.
Onshore, the Cruachan hydro-electric scheme was the first reversible pump storage hydro of its scale in the world.
Offshore, the world leading 10MW Tidal Array demonstration project is being developed in the Sound of Islay.
The community windfarm development on Gigha was the first of its kind in Scotland, supporting the island’s energy
needs and providing valuable community income.
The Assisting Communities to Connect to Electric Sustainable Sources (ACCESS) project is trialling
demand-side management on Mull. While the Algae Solutions for a Local Energy Economy (ASLEE) is seeking to provide a high value use for locally produced energy.
Our existing supply chain businesses as well as key renewables sites, such as the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (N-RIP) site of Campbeltown and the world class research facilities at the European Marine Science Park, mean that Argyll is well placed to benefit from future renewables all supported by a continually improving infrastructure and a growing skills base
Argyll and the Islands is an excellent location for the development of a variety of renewable energy projects, supply chain services and research and development opportunities in both the Irish Sea and along the Western Seaboard.
The region has an impressive transport infrastructure. Over 20 harbours facilitate an efficient network of passenger and freight ferries. These link to rail and road services to the major regional destinations, and provide access to the commercial centres of the Central Belt.
Air transport in the region is delivered by six licensed airports – two on the mainland, and four on the islands of Coll, Colonsay, Tiree and Islay, with daily flights to Glasgow from Campbeltown, Tiree and Islay.
A superfast broadband programme is being rolled out with fibre based coverage expected for 86% of properties. The latest roll-out information can be viewed on the HIE website.
Renewable activities allied to an excellent location and transport network have ensured that Campbeltown has been prioritised in the Government’s National Renewables Infrastructure Plan as a key site for manufacturing and the development of Scotland’s off-shore renewables industry. Campbeltown Harbour offers an excellent lee port on the west coast of Scotland. Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Argyll and Bute Council have invested heavily in the infrastructure required to make Campbeltown a first-rate renewable energy hub.
The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) near Oban is one of the world’s leading oceanographic institutions and is vital in enabling and informing all aspects of marine renewable energy through their research and teaching, for example the Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass project.
Purchased by the local community in 2012, MACC Business Park is a former military airbase on the west coast of Scotland. As well as steering the future development of the site, we aim to support our community through charitable donations and use of our properties and land.
The park’s properties and assets are available for let from MACC Developments Ltd, the trading arm of the company. With over 1,000 acres of unique properties and assets, we offer businesses across a diverse range of sectors a dynamic location to grow and develop.
Scotland’s only onshore and offshore wind turbine manufacturing site, CS Wind, is located at Machrihanish.
A Masterplan in relation to Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan 2015 has been approved for land south of the existing Kilmory Industrial Estate. Sites are designated for light Industrial, storage and distribution, tourism and commercial recreational use.
Opportunities Moving Forward
In addition to existing activity within the renewables sector, the following offer important opportunities for future development across Argyll:
- Local Energy Economies
- Local Heat Mapping
- Grid improvements
- Renewables manufacturing and supply chain
- Further development of offshore renewables
The Interactive Renewables Map allows you to access up to date information on renewable energy developments throughout Argyll and Bute and highlights our track record of innovation and commitment to this sector.
The Map links with our online planning application system, allowing you to search by renewable type, scale and status of development.
ALIenergy works to promote sustainable energy use and renewable energy generation, to address fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
ALIenergy is a facilitator, project manager and programme co-ordinator and we devise projects, educate, advise and improve access to knowledge and skills so that communities build capacity to participate in renewable energy and energy saving activity.
Scottish Renewables is the voice of Scotland renewable energy industry. Their vision is for Scotland leading the world in renewable energy.