Since 2000, the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF) has been an integral part of the development of a diverse and successful renewable energy industry in Orkney. As a membership organisation, OREF is open to businesses and individuals with an involvement or interest in Orkney’s renewable energy sector. OREF aims to address strategic issues affecting Orkney’s renewables sector through focused collaboration with members, the local community, key stakeholders, and Orkney’s world leading academic and research organisations.
Today, OREF has over 60 members, and is growing every year. Business members benefit from OREF’s promotion of members, showcasing of Orkney at conferences and trade shows, and hosting of high profile visitors to the county. OREF also puts on a regular schedule of public talks and events centred on the topic of renewable energy, and lobbies on strategic issues such as policy, grid and energy innovation which are relevant to Orkney as a whole.
Full membership is open to any business or individual based within Orkney, and OREF also offers associate membership to those outside Orkney. Find out more or join OREF here.
The Orkney Renewable Energy Forum was established in 2000 as a discussion forum for anyone involved or interested in the development of renewable energy in Orkney. During the next few years, OREF became increasingly involved in a range of local renewable energy developments, including an instrumental role in the establishment of the first wholly locally owned wind turbine in the UK, which was erected in Burray in 2004. In 2006, OREF went through an important internal development when it became a Company limited by guarantee. Under this new structure, OREF expanded its fields of operation, with the establishment of several subgroups covering the environmental, commercial and community aspects of renewables. In 2007, OREF activities saw another expansion with the employment of its first member of staff, as well as a establishing a new Research and Development subgroup. 2013 marked the most notable expansion of OREF to date, with the creation of a full time Development Manager post to carry out a comprehensive Development Plan with funding from LEADER, Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Throughout its history, OREF has consistently responded to a vast range of important consultations relating to renewable energy in Orkney, as well as providing a unified representation for the renewables sector at various community and renewables events. OREF has also had an ongoing role in encouraging energy efficiency, and disseminating information to help Orkney residents to tackle fuel poverty in the county.