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10th Anniversary Brochure


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10th Anniversary Brochure

  1. 1. Celebrating 10 Years of Sustainable Energy Acceleration Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary. A major milestone for Aberdeen City Council, which had the vision to establish this pioneering organisation at the end of 2003 to build on the region’s already impressive renewables credentials. Here we highlight more than a decade of achievements which have resulted in the region becoming a world leading force in the sustainable energy revolution.
  2. 2. Building A Sustainable Energy Industry Renewable energy technologies have developed apace in the last 10 years and represent an immense opportunity for Scotland both at home and overseas. Aberdeen City Council has been active in renewables for more than 15 years after recognising how this exciting new growth industry would add to the region’s existing energy credentials and be a key contributor to building a 21st Century sustainable energy industry. We focus on three key areas: adopting renewables into the Council’s property portfolio; supply chain development; and supporting enabling projects. Across our Council premises we are carrying out a review as to how to achieve greater energy efficiency whilst incorporating renewables into new builds. Through one of our arm’s length organisations, Aberdeen Heat and Power, we are developing a heat network across the city centre to enable it to use renewable energy in the future. For supply chain development, we set up Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) to support and assist companies enter the renewables market place. Two examples of enabling projects are the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in which AREG is a joint venture partner and the Council’s own hydrogen projects (H2), both of which are intended to significantly reduce costs and accelerate the implementation of specific renewable technologies. It is exciting to stand at the dawn of new industries that can be transformational in reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy security and creating new employment. However, we must not underestimate the challenges. The same barriers to development exist as they did 10 years ago, and must be addressed and overcome. As a local authority, we are considering how we can support the development of renewable energy through contributing to the policy framework and deriving maximum local benefit for our people, our businesses and academic institutions as well as working with industry to deliver these benefits. AREG is a powerful grouping of internationally competitive, sophisticated energy skills across all the disciplines required for energy project development. The organisation is therefore a key component in our strategy to continue developing a sustainable energy future for our city and generations to come. Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader of Aberdeen City Council “Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. As AREG enters its next decade of operations, Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with the team as we look to increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.” Maggie McGinlay, Director of Energy, Scottish Enterprise
  3. 3. With Change Comes Progress There is clear evidence that Scotland is now a global leader in renewables. A recent milestone over the last year shows we have consumed 19,000 GWh in renewable electricity output - more than 46% of the country’s total electricity consumption and exceeding the Scottish Government’s 2011 target of 31%. This illustrates Scotland’s strong renewable energy vision, which is shared by Scottish Renewables. A 100% target by 2020 sets out many challenges for developing industry frameworks to deliver this policy goal, especially around planning and Grid. From the outset of renewable energy more than two decades ago, Aberdeen has been a key to the development of the industry and will continue to perform a crucial role through its track record in engineering know how and problem solving as well as its highly skilled workforce. Aberdeen City Council, from the very beginning, has been supportive and constructive in its commitment to drive forward renewables. The vision of the Council and AREG, which the Council established as an independent organisation, has been focused on getting projects with a commercial future off the ground and creating networks for knowledge sharing. Together, they had the foresight to get involved with AMEC and now Vattenfall Wind Power to develop the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – a project developed with strategic thinking including consideration of the Grid. This inherent local energy strength and diversified approach underlines the importance of Aberdeen’s position in the energy mix of the future. At a time of uncertainty in the industry across the UK it is vital to remember that with a ‘can-do’ mind set, we can overcome any hardship. While I’m not one to look back, one of the privileges of reflecting on the past is that every time there has been a change in the industry, there has been a bit of a stutter. This is because people need to get used to the change, such as banks having to adapt to new regulations. There will probably be a stutter with Electricity Market Reform and The Grid but as time has shown, with change comes progress and I am confident that will be the case now. Energy is a global market but what we want is innovation in the UK. At Natural Power, for example, we are exporting our services across the world to France, the US, Turkey, Ireland and Chile. If we can keep our intellectual talent here in the UK we will continue to reap the huge benefits and rewards of a growing renewable energy industry. Jeremy Sainsbury FRICS OBE Director of Natural Power. Director and Grid group chairman at Scottish Renewables.
  4. 4. AREG: From Vision to Reality When AREG was first conceived by Aberdeen City Council its vision was to diversify the region’s existing energy skills into new technologies and make Aberdeen as world famous for renewables as it is for oil and gas. AREG was incorporated as a company at the end of 2003, when renewables were barely on the national energy agenda and is now one of the longest established renewable energy organisations in the UK. Over the past ten years the company has turned Aberdeen City Council’s vision into reality with the region now recognised as a vital driver for developing not just Aberdeen and Scotland’s renewables sector but also assisting UK and European ambitions. In building a sustainable energy sector, actively promoting Aberdeen City and Shire’s world-class capabilities, retaining local energy skills and helping to create new job opportunities through industry expansion, AREG is working hard to provide a lasting legacy for future generations. The company is unique in that it helps facilitate regional economic development activity and projects as well as delivering services to its members. With a decade of activity under its belt, the region has built considerable momentum across the whole renewable energy spectrum, in areas as diverse as hydrogen fuel cell transport and biomass, however a particularly crucial and successful focus has been to transfer its strong, existing offshore oil and gas expertise into offshore renewables. The region is now globally recognised as a major centre of excellence and the largest Scottish employer for offshore wind plus third in employment rankings for the wave and tidal industry. Through its open membership network the organisation acts as a centralised hub of key business, research, technology and industry wide contacts. Members are now located not just in Aberdeen but also nationally and internationally and span every sector of renewable energy including a strong cast of oil and gas majors, technology developers, service, engineering, training and accreditation companies, four local authorities, development agencies and trade associations. By joining AREG, members can access an unrivalled international network and benefit from services spanning Meet the Buyer events, industry talks and presentations and networking opportunities including an International Trade Reception at the annual All-Energy exhibition. AREG is proud of what it has and continues to achieve and looks forward to building an unrivalled, industry focused membership, ensuring the region and its people benefit from being at the cutting edge of future energy industry developments and performing a strategic role in Scottish and UK energy ambitions. “DECC, who have maintained a small renewables presence in our Aberdeen office, have enjoyed a productive relationship with AREG during their first 10 years of existence. AREG have organised a number of very interesting and informative events that we have attended – and at which we are often challenged – constructively and intelligently. AREG have been a real focal point for the renewables community in Aberdeen City and Shire and has been instrumental in bringing the opportunities to the companies within the region. They have been extremely helpful when we have been asked, often at short notice, to host Ministerial meeting and events. Here’s to a successful next 10 years.” Ian Furneaux, Offshore Wind Analyst, Office for Renewable Energy Deployment, DECC Aberdeen
  5. 5. A Decade of Achievement Award winning AREG has marked a number of significant achievements over the last decade. It has been at the forefront of helping to develop renewable energy projects of key economic value, creating an estimated leverage of more than £48 million in local economic activity. One major pioneering project driven forward by AREG is the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), a joint venture with Vattenfall, plus consortium partner Technip Offshore Wind. The project, which was granted consent by the Scottish Government in March 2013, is intended to significantly reduce the cost of offshore wind development and accelerate deployment . It will also deliver renewable energy to the National Grid and bring an estimated £230 million worth of investment to Scottish renewables infrastructure. AREG was not only instrumental in helping the EOWDC reach consent but was behind the original concept securing industry partners and funding including an European Union (EU) grant of up to €40million. As part of the EOWDC project AREG is included in Scottish Enterprise’s Virtual Energy Laboratory. AREG is also a partner in the £25 million pound strategic H2 Aberdeen initiative which is being supported by Aberdeen City Council. The expectation is that this initiative will stimulate further innovative hydrogen technology projects and high level investment in the area, realising Aberdeen’s aspiration of becoming a world leading energy and hydrogen city. The region’s successful biomass infrastructure is another area where AREG has played a key role. Projects in Aberdeen City and Shire have a current capital value of £25.5million and local wood fuel production is worth £8.7 million to the local economy. Biomass is a key resource as an economic driver and the potential for local employment is considerable. On a smaller but equally important scale has been AREG’s work with local fuel poverty action group SCARF to establish a project designed to encourage householders to install renewable technologies. This project was used as a best practice for the Scottish Government’s Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative programme. Alongside these projects, AREG has been instrumental in assisting in the development of the now internationally recognised annual All-Energy conference, which in 2013 attracted over 600 exhibiting companies, 7,650 visitors from 48 countries and generated £4 million for the local economy. Working in partnership with the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, AREG also assisted in establishing a joint academic chair in energy research with funding of £1.2 million. These projects have been complemented by a series of popular members events delivered in collaboration with partners such as Scottish Renewables, Scottish Enterprise and SCDI. Particularly successful of these have been AREG’s Meet the Buyer events in which the supply chain is able to engage directly with large project developers and key renewables organisations. External recognition of AREG’s work has also been widespread, winning the Renewable Energy Association’s British Renewable Energy Region award in 2012 and becoming an Enterprising Britain finalist in 2007. The former AREG chairman was also honoured by Scottish Renewables for ‘Outstanding Personal Contribution’ at the 2012 Green Energy Awards. In order to safeguard the long term prosperity of our energy based economy and sustainable energy supplies for generations to come, AREG will continue to work on building the momentum already achieved by capitalising on new opportunities and ensuring the region’s global status as an internationally competitive economic power house.
  6. 6. Looking To The Future I am proud of what AREG and our members have achieved over the last ten years, particularly as we work in a constantly evolving marketplace. We always think first and foremost of our membership – their views, requirements, challenges and opportunities - and work hard to provide them with opportunities and support, therefore as the renewable energy landscape evolves, AREG is evolving with it. We are streamlining our business to provide even more efficient and effective services to support our members better and provide additional positive economic impact. Moving forward AREG will work even more closely with Aberdeen City Council. We will pool resources in our drive to build the city’s status as a global energy capital, accelerate the growth of the local renewables supply chain and deliver new renewable energy projects together. AREG will retain its shareholding in the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project, however our involvement will be managed by the Council’s economic development department so that in 2014 AREG can concentrate its efforts on creating and delivering new initiatives to stimulate fresh business opportunities for its members. In response to demand we are opening up membership of AREG to companies and organisations from across the UK and around the globe, and have already welcomed our first national members. This will expand our networks, foster partnerships and create new access to domestic and international markets. We shall continue to work in the interests of our members by promoting them at every opportunity as well as lobbying influential industry bodies and decision makers, providing networking opportunities and profiling the capabilities of our region. We will work in partnership with Aberdeen City Council to develop new supply chain initiatives, assist in the development of key partnerships and relationships, disseminate market intelligence, match suppliers with buyers and make further in-roads into key international markets. A new and broader advisory Board with a strong industrial representation will be set up to provide additional support for the development of AREG’s services and will advise on the development of local renewables projects in the region. Looking back over a decade of change I see that much can be achieved by a concerted effort from committed individuals and organisations. We must continue that effort into the future to win a significant environmental and industrial prize for Scotland and the UK. Morag McCorkindale, Chief Operating Officer “Vattenfall, and AMEC Wind Energy the company it acquired in 2008, has worked closely with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. That wind project has a long and colourful history and through our collaboration we feel we have forged a strong relationship. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment. As a centenarian, Vattenfall congratulates AREG on reaching its tenth birthday!” Jason Ormiston, Head of Public & Regulatory Affairs, Vattenfall
  7. 7. “Becoming a member of AREG complemented the Council’s membership with Energy North and is consistent with the efforts of Orkney Renewable Energy Forum. It has opened up exciting new opportunities for both Orkney and AREG to build on their network of contacts and to collaborate for mutual advantage.” Jan Falconer, Head of Strategic Development and Regeneration at Orkney Island Council “The Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation a decade ago. The organisation has been essential for Aberdeen city and shire to grow from the oil and gas capital of Europe to the energy capital of Europe. Hydrocarbons will be essential to drive both Aberdeen’s and the world’s economy for years to come, but renewables generation and efficient mitigation will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power.” Robert Collier, Chief Executive, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce “AREG has always been ahead of the curve, ensuring that Aberdeen and Scotland are looking to the future of the energy sector, not just the here and now. With almost half of Scotland’s electricity now coming from renewables, and the sector responsible for thousands of jobs across the country, we are well down the road to the transition that AREG was set up to support. However, there are still lots of opportunities for companies to get into the renewables supply chain, where the organisation plays such a key role in making connections for businesses in Aberdeen. We look forward to working together on the transformation of our energy sector over the next ten years!” Niall Stuart, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables “The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman Jeremy Cresswell played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.” Judith Patten, Project Director, All Energy
  8. 8. Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Aberdeen City Council Business Hub 4, Marischal College Aberdeen, AB10 1AB T: +44 (0)1224 523630 E: AREG endeavours to work towards economic and environmental sustainability. This document has been printed on paper made from 75% recycled, de-inked pulp with FSC accreditation, from a paper manufacturer certified as ISO14001. The waste paper used has been processed back into fibre in a totally chlorine free process.