Renewables
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Energy systems

Wind energy system out at sea

Innovation powering success

In 2015, 59% of Scotland's electricity consumption came from renewable sources.

Energy Systems is about developing new products, services and business models to support the integration across electricity, heat and transport networks.

The aim is to drive forward the transition to a low-carbon future.

Our commitment

Scotland is strongly committed to a low-carbon agenda.

As a result there has been rapid growth in the intermittent renewable energy sector and growing interest in decentralised energy. Scotland also has ambitious targets in this area, which include:

  • To produce the equivalent of 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020
  • To decarbonise the supply of heat (11% renewable heat and 1.5 Twh of district heating by 2020, with further changes beyond).
Powerlines with a sunset background
Energy systems infographic

Holistic energy strategy

The Scottish Government is developing a holistic, integrated strategy that will create a long-term vision for energy in Scotland.

The developing strategy has identified three core themes:

  • A stable, managed energy transition
  • An integrated 'whole systems' view, considering Scotland's energy supply
  • Consumption as being an equal priority and promoting local energy solutions.

Impressive location

Innovative solutions are needed to maximise the potential of energy systems in Scotland.

Scotland has outstanding renewable resources, many of which are in rural and island communities with grid constraints. Therefore the challenge is working out how to add more capacity and maximise the potential of local, distributed systems.

Our urban centres have high demands for electricity, heat and energy. They also give us opportunities to test and develop storage and energy system solutions at a larger scale.

Rural scenery
Two men working at multiple screens

Digitisation of the grid

Scotland is ambitious to support the development of a smart, digital energy system.

We know that the management and mining of big data and the application of software systems, sensors and electronics is of critical importance. These will be important for the digitisation and delivery of an efficient, effective and responsive 21st century energy system.

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Scottish company capability

You can tap into the expertise of innovative companies.

Scottish companies have capability in a number of areas relevant to energy systems and the digitisation of grid infrastructure. These include:

  • Consultancy
  • ICT/digital
  • Engineering services
  • Power electronics

There are currently more than 120 energy systems companies in Scotland and the number is growing.

Man working with machinery

R&D and testing

We have unique facilities for testing and demonstrating technology and solutions in energy systems.

The Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) is an alliance of Scottish Universities engaged in world-class energy-related research and development (R&D).

The Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) provides:

  • Real 11Kv and LV distribution networks, which are flexible with the ability to vary voltage, frequency and perform disturbance testing in a controlled environment
  • The capability to research, test and demonstrate hardware, software and integrated systems solutions in a safe, controlled environment.

Scottish academic institutions also have strong experience in:

  • Planning, operation, control and management of transmission and distribution grid networks
  • Design and modelling of networks and policy and support
  • Energy storage in fuel cells, hydrogen generation, batteries and super capacitors.

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PNDC test compound

Project opportunities

There are a growing number of opportunities in Scotland to develop demonstration projects and projects at scale.

These opportunities make use of Scotland's diverse geography, with island communities and large urban centres.

A number of flagship energy systems demonstration projects are happening here. For example, the Northern Isles New Energy Solution (NINES) and Fair Isle Unified Low Carbon Electricity Storage projects are happening in Scotland. From demonstration to commercial deployment, Scotland is the ideal location to base a project development, R&D or manufacturing facility.

Support and finance

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) is a £76 million scheme to boost jobs and economic growth in Scotland’s low carbon sector.

It provides tailored support for established and start-up infrastructure projects across the private, public and community sectors. The fund aims to stimulate commercial interest and investment and maximise Scotland's vast potential in the low carbon sector.

Companies investing in Scotland can also access a range of general support.

This includes financial and tax incentives, such as:

  • Investment incentives and support
  • Job creation assistance
  • Grants
  • Training and innovation support
  • Favourable corporate tax rate of 20%

A well as our strong capabilities in renewable and energy systems, Scotland is connected for business, offering an outstanding location for companies to innovate and grow.

Energy systems

Companies investing in Scotland benefit from our talented workforce.


Head of Trade and Investment, Energy - Ewen Cameron

Scotland's abundant resources make it a natural home for your renewable energy project. And you'll also find unrivalled business support, outstanding locations, exceptional experience and unique energy capabilities.

We have offices in 20 countries, staffed by teams who can talk you through Scotland’s capabilities and the funding support that may be available to you.

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