Net zero islands conference to come to Shetland

DELEGATES from across the Nordic region are set to travel to Shetland next month for a meeting of the net zero islands network.

The two day event on 16/17 May is organised by the Scottish Government, and is a chance for Shetland Islands Council (SIC) to showcase its Orion clean energy project.

Participants will also be introduced to the government’s ambition to establish at least six full carbon neutral islands, including Yell, by 2040.

Government announces ambitious plan to turn Yell carbon neutral by 2040

Both days will include excursions to the various energy projects in Shetland including the construction site of the Viking Energy wind farm and Sullom Voe Terminal.

There are also visits planned to the Garth community wind farm and the Nova Energy tidal array, both in and off the island of Yell.

Founded three years ago, the net zero islands network is part of Nordic Energy Research, based in Oslo, and promotes the exchange of knowledge to better understand the energy challenges faced by islands.

The group has held meetings previously in the Faroe Islands and in Nuuk, Greenland.

Senior advisor  to Nordic Energy Research, Anders Geertsen, told Shetland News that the group’s two-day seminars were usually very hands on.

“The thing is that the people in our network are very hands-on people who often work in small islands or remote areas, and they tend to prefer to see things, visit colleagues and learn from each other – instead of attending long meetings,” he said.

“The first of those seminars was held on the Faroe Islands in the autumn of 2021, where we looked at wind farms, electricity grids and storage, hydrogen production, tidal energy, district heating – a lot of key elements in the green energy transition, but often difficult to integrate in small communities.

“Last year, we met in Nuuk, Greenland, where the focus was on ships and harbours – how do we make them green?

“We also touched on hydraulic power – the melting ice caps give us new streams and rivers, thereby new sources for green hydraulic power.

“There is a lot to be gained from a close Nordic-Scottish collaboration, as conditions and opportunities on our isles are very much the same, whether the island is Scottish or Nordic.

“Our friends in Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and the west coast of Norway know this, as they all share the same waters with you.”

Shetland News