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Energy systems

Scotland is the ideal location for your next energy project. There are immediate opportunities across our energy systems supply chain - from hydrogen and energy networks to low carbon heat and transport. And we'll help you access the right skills, research and development facilities and support to help you succeed.

Did you know?

  • Net zero GHG emissions by 2045

    Halting Scotland’s contribution to global climate change within one generation.

  • 50% of energy demand from renewables

    By 2030, the equivalent of half Scotland’s total energy demand (electricity, heat and transport) will be supplied by renewable sources.

  • 100% green hydrogen-to-homes gas network

    Another world-first for Scotland.

  • Tackling climate change head-on

    Unique opportunities for energy demand, supply and storage applications

    Scotland is leading the way in energy systems innovation. We have the resources, the expertise and the ambition to rise to the challenges of the climate change emergency.

    Scotland is committed to decarbonising its economy for the benefit of our environment, our people and our prosperity. Scotland was the first country in the world to declare a climate change emergency, and the government has shown global leadership in setting world-leading targets.

    Scotland’s development of trailblazing energy system solutions and culture of innovation have firmly established the country as a world leader in this field.

    In Scotland, there is a holistic approach to energy systems. Businesses understand the pivotal role that the integration and optimisation of electricity, heat and transport networks will play in reaching net zero emissions.

    Finally, Scotland's ambitious integrated energy strategy lays out a long-term vision for energy systems in Scotland. It will create new and unique opportunities for energy demand, supply and storage in domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

Energy systems opportunities in Scotland 

Scotland has advanced capabilities in hydrogen. It also benefits from vast renewable resource and offshore energy infrastructure and open opportunities in the production and supply of hydrogen and its supply chain, including:

  • Refuelling infrastructure
  • Operation and maintenance
  • Hydrogen safety and flow rate metering

Find out more about Scotland's hydrogen future 

Scotland has immediate opportunities for the integration of heat into energy systems, including heating systems, smart controls and heat metering and billing services.

The scale of the low carbon heat opportunity in Scotland is enormous, with mass installation of heat pumps and the roll-out of low carbon heat networks projected to boom over the next decade.

Find low carbon heat opportunities 

Scotland is committed to growing the low carbon transport industry. You’ll find immediate opportunities in battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, particularly zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (including municipal and commercial vehicle fleets, trains and marine vessels), linking vehicle deployment with low carbon energy supply and refuelling infrastructure.

Find low carbon transport opportunities 

The upgrading of Scotland’s distribution network is essential to deal with predicted increases in electricity demand and balance this with increased renewable generation. You’ll discover immediate opportunities in:

  • Active network management (including power electronics, sensors and communications)
  • Demand-side management (including smart home applications)
  • Storage (including hydrogen storage and battery applications)

Investment-ready green projects in Scotland 

We know that data holds the key to integrating complex energy systems. The digitalisation of these systems is essential to produce the required data on supply, demand, usage patterns, impact of weather and availability of assets.

You’ll find opportunities in sensors, communication systems, artificial intelligence and computing. Data can be captured, analysed and used to deliver actionable insights to optimise Scotland’s energy systems.

Why Scotland's the place to do great things with data 

What Scotland can offer your energy company 

Join a community with innovation at its heart

Scotland’s innovation ecosystem and experienced energy supply chain are globally recognised as being leaders in low carbon innovation. You’ll be able to take your research and development (R&D) to the next level thanks to our connected infrastructure and outstanding level of academic and industry collaboration.

Scotland has pioneered dozens of world-leading energy systems projects, including the UK’s first smart grid system, green hydrogen from tidal power and the world’s first use of tidal power to provide baseload generation in Orkney. Our innovation and expertise have been instrumental in demonstrating how energy systems can maximise renewable energy use, reduce costs and provide energy stability.

More about innovation in Scotland 

Access the skills and talent you need

We often say that people are our greatest asset. In fact, our workforce is internationally recognised as one of the best-trained, most reliable and cost-competitive labour forces in the world. This, combined with our famous work ethic, means that your company will benefit from a hard-working, dependable and diverse workforce, which in turn means stability and reassurance for your business.

When it comes to energy systems skills, you’ll find the talent you need in Scotland.

More about Scotland's renewable energy skills 

Benefit from ongoing support

From the moment you touch down in Scotland, you become part of something much bigger. One of the things that sets Scotland apart from the rest is our globally-recognised public and private sector partnership approach to achieving a shared industry ambition. This is led and supported by strong industry voices, such as the Local Energy Systems Scottish Industry Network opens in a new window and Scottish Renewables opens in a new window .

And the support doesn’t end when you make the move. We're committed to your growth in Scotland, by taking the time to understand your needs now and in the future. We have the tools to take your business to the next level, whether it’s identifying investment, developing your business strategy, upskilling your staff or improving your business processes.

How we can help 

Scotland's technology expertise

Scotland’s smart grid capabilities are globally renowned. The UK’s first smart grid system was implemented in the Orkney islands in 2009, marking a globally significant development in smart grid technology.

From this early success, Scotland’s smart grid sector has progressed rapidly, firmly establishing Scotland as a world leader in delivering pioneering projects. Key to this is the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) opens in a new window , the leading test and demonstration centre for smart grid technology, which could help accelerate the adoption of your innovative technologies by the electricity industry.

The National HVDC Centre opens in a new window , based in Cumbernauld, Scotland, is the UK's only simulation and training facility designed to support and de-risk projects for all High Voltage Direct Current schemes connecting to the UK grid. This state-of-the-art facility ensures the integrity and security of the grid network.

The £1.1 billion Caithness–Moray HVDC project opens in a new window  was commissioned in 2018, enabling wind generators in Caithness to connect to the rest of the UK grid and bringing the abundant wind resource in the north of Scotland to the rest of Great Britain. Converter stations are located at Spittal (800MW capacity) and Blackhillock (1200MW capacity). The scheme has been designed to extend to up to five terminals, making it Europe’s first multi-terminal HVDC grid design.

A number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects and strong government support have put Scotland firmly at the forefront of this emerging sector. We’re already using green hydrogen to fuel electric vehicles and have a pipeline of world-first hydrogen projects on the horizon, including the H100 green hydrogen-to-homes project and the Acorn project, which will generate blue hydrogen at scale by 2025.

The European Marine Energy Centre's onshore hydrogen production plant in Eday opens in a new window generates green hydrogen from surplus tidal and wind energy. With a view to developing a hydrogen economy in Orkney, this demonstration site for new hydrogen technologies is a key element of various hydrogen research projects.

By choosing to invest in Scotland, your company will benefit from our vast offshore infrastructure and skilled energy workforce, which are expertly placed to accelerate your H2/CO2 transportation and storage projects.

Scotland boasts real strength in all stages of the digital technology stack for energy systems and has a vibrant, connected tech ecosystem to support its deployment. You’ll find advanced expertise in novel sensing technologies, systems that capture, transmit and store data, advanced analytical and visualisation capability and modelling and simulation expertise.

Scotland’s ambition to be the data capital of Europe is demonstrated by its investment in cutting-edge facilities that can help your energy systems company flourish, including CENSIS, the Data Lab, the Scotland 5G Centre, the Bayes Centre and the Edinburgh International Data Facility.

Find out more about data and data science in Scotland  

Scotland has exceptional expertise in delivering remote community energy projects. Many of Scotland’s off-grid communities that were previously reliant on diesel generators for a non-constant power source now boast renewable energy-based intelligent microgrids.

One example is the Fair Isle energy project opens in a new window , which uses an intelligently controlled renewable microgrid with wind and solar power and a battery bank to bring 24-hour power to the islanders for the first time.

You might also be interested in

  • Emerging climate technologies

    Scotland is on the cusp of a climate tech revolution, with Scottish companies developing new tech that can help meet the challenges of global climate change.

  • Sustainable transport innovation

    Scotland is a big draw for investors in the mobility tech sector. Arcola Energy and SWARCO are among the first tenants at Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc.

  • Hydrogen energy projects in Scotland

    Discover world-first hydrogen projects happening in Scotland right now, helping to decarbonise transport systems and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we're always ready to help.