Orkney is renowned around the world for its wind, wave and tidal energy resources, with world-class test facilities, and leading companies in the renewables energy field being based here. It is also home to a wealth of academic expertise and international experience. Many pioneering renewable energy projects are being tested here at the European Marine Energy Centre.
Orkney Renewable Energy Forum (OREF) promotes all forms of renewable energy and efficiency and facilitates research and development, shares information, lobbies on strategic issues affecting renewable energy development and acts as a consultative body. Its full members are those based in Orkney who support OREF’s aims and it also has associate members, mostly based outwith Orkney. Full members and supporters include renewables companies, service providers, colleges and universities, local development trusts, members of the construction industry and individuals. OREF produces an annual newsletter which is distributed at Aberdeen's All Energy event in May initially and is widely available in Orkney afterwards.
Other energy groups across Orkney include Community Powerdown initiatives and well established groups such as Energy Action Westray. These community groups aim to combat climate change, cut down on emissions by reducing energy used in homes and by the community, encouraging people to grow their own food and buy local produce and explore environmentally friendly public transport options. Many local development trusts are already looking to a sustainable future by erecting or planning to build community owned wind turbines. Community powerdown officers work to promote environmental awareness and apply for grants to get projects up and running.