Neil KermodeWelcome to the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum. For over twenty years OREF has been championing both renewable energy and energy efficiency.

When OREF started, the objectives seemed lofty, a bit ‘alternative’ and weird; now these same objectives are widely regarded as sensible and mainstream. Back then the work that OREF members voluntarily committed themselves to what seemed implausible to some; now they are seen as essential to the future of Orkney, but also to the planet!

The world now knows it needs to end the use of fossil fuels. Orkney has committed to helping to show pioneering leadership in achieving this and OREF is a key part of that drive to sustainability.

OREF members gather together to discuss energy matters and through this to provide mutual support and encouragement to tackle them. We meet to learn, challenge and debate ideas and following winning the Responsible Islands Prize in 2019 we bought the equipment to stream and reach Orkney’s outer isles and beyond.  This year will see more of the same and new members and guests are more than welcome to attend our monthly meetings.

And this newfound global commitment is not coming a day too soon.

As Chair for 2023/24 I am personally committed to drive as hard and as fast as we can manage and am delighted to have been elected to serve this year. I was born in 1959 when the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 316 parts per million, now as I write this it is 422ppm. This has to stop and I believe OREF has a role to play in delivering that.

The web pages seek to capture some of what is going on in Orkney and the inescapable conclusion is that there is a lot happening. But this must just be the start, and to move faster and go further requires even more effort by more people. OREF welcomes members who want learn and hear about renewables, but we especially want to help people to do something to drive to decarbonisation. If you feel this is you then please get in touch, or join OREF here.

I look forward to meeting you at some point in person or virtually.

Neil Kermode, OREF Chair