Orkney Energy Audit 2019

In the last decade Orkney has firmly established itself as a centre for innovation and development in the renewable energy sector.

By 2014 Orkney was generating 104% of its annual electrical demand, a feat unmatched by any region in the UK. However local grid infrastructure could not keep up with this growth in generation and inadequate grid capacity would threaten the financial viability of established community energy schemes and the potential to develop further generating capacity in the future.

In response, OREF and Community Energy Scotland commissioned the Orkney-wide Energy Audit 2014 (Aquatera Ltd, 2015), which was carried out by local consultancy firm, Aquatera. Now in 2019 the future development of Orkney’s physical grid capacity is based on SHEPD’s project to construct a new 220kV subsea cable connection between Orkney and Scottish mainland, providing an additional 220MW grid capacity.

This 2019 Audit is to further understand Orkney’s current energy situation and what needs to be done in order to meet and exceed the targets set out in project ReFLEX Orkney, and ultimately, completely decarbonise Orkney’s energy system.

The scope of this 2019 Audit includes both the energy generated, and consumed, within Orkney. Energy used for transport to, and from, mainland Scotland is allocated entirely to Orkney’s energy use, as travel is normally to, and from, Orkney, not via Orkney. In some cases, where services are a stop off on the way to Shetland, assumptions have been described clearly where applicable. It aims to include details on all forms of energy such as electricity, oil, coal etc. This audit is intended as a snapshot of the current energy situation so where possible the most recent data has been used. It should however be noted that not all the data sets cover the same period of time. In some cases, data may be presented over a number of years to help with explaining trends and for comparison.

ReFLEX Orkney Energy Audit 2019 

Orkney Energy Audit 2014

For over 30 years, Orkney has been at the forefront of the development renewable energy technologies.  Local renewable energy generation has increased steadily over the past 15 years, and in 2013 Orkney generated renewable output equivalent to 103% its electrical demand, a feat unrivalled in the UK, and in 2014 this figure was increased to 104%. However, the local grid infrastructure has not kept up with this growth in generation, and the lack of definite future connection opportunities is hindering the growth of renewable energy within the county.

These grid inadequacies threaten the financial viability of established community energy schemes amongst others. As a result, OREF and Community Energy Scotland commissioned an energy audit for Orkney, which was carried out by local consultancy Aquatera at the end of 2014.

The audit gives a comprehensive breakdown of Orkney’s current energy sources and uses, as well as providing switching options for moving away from fossil fuel use and increasing local electricity demand. We hope that this report will provide a strong basis for both discussion and action in the Orkney renewable energy sphere in the coming year. The audit shows what is happening, the options are laid out, and the opportunity to act is upon us.

You can download free PDF versions of the Orkney Energy Audit by clicking on the links below.

Executive Summary

Part 1: Energy Sources and Uses

Part 2: Switching Options


Orkney Energy Audit 2004

In 2004 the Northern & Western Isles Energy Efficiency Advice Centre published the “Orkney Energy Audit: Energy production and use in Orkney 2003-04” report.

You can download the free PDF version of the Orkney Energy Audit 2004 by clicking on the link below.

Orkney Energy Audit 2004