Having only officially joined Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) as CEO just last month, it’s been an exciting time to start working again with the organisation as it continues to promote the fast growing renewable energy industry.
As we approach COP26, one of my main aims as CEO of AREG is to bring the reality of the energy transition to communities across the north east and to help people visualise the current and future potential of renewables.
To that end, we decided to launch the ‘Art of Renewable Energy’ photography competition in September this year to showcase the progress of the energy transition in the run up to pivotal climate talks taking place at COP26 this year.
The competition, sponsored by the Falck Renewables, Orsted and BlueFloat Energy consortium, invited photographers to submit pictures that reflect the changing energy mix and environmental challenges currently impacting communities and the planet.
The other judges and I, including Richard Dibley from Falck Renewables, Derek Ironside from Newsline Media, Dr Fiona McIntyre from Greyhope Bay and Gayle Grant and Richard Crighton from BIG Partnership, really had our work cut out to choose a winner out of over 60 stunning entries we received.
After much deliberation we were pleased to name Ian Hastie from Stonehaven as the winner of the £250 cash prize for his shot of dolphins swimming near the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm.
The captivating image, which will be used as the front cover for AREG’s 2022 calendar, shows dolphins leaping from the slate-grey waves near Greyhope Bay, Aberdeen.
Thirteen images in total will be featured in the 2022/23 calendar, with Ian’s image taking pride of place on the front cover.
The twelve runner-up entries were each awarded a prize of £75 for their work and will also feature in the calendar.
In addition, the series of photos from across Scotland will also be displayed at a specially curated exhibition to be held at Aberdeen Science Centre from later this year.
The energy transition has long been a topic of conversation in the north east, given Aberdeen’s historic prominence as an energy hub, but AREG is determined for Scotland to remain at the forefront of the global conversation on renewable energy.
Since it was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit group, AREG has worked on behalf of its over 210 members to strengthen the renewable energy supply chain and drive the energy transition in Scotland.
We were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to our call for entries to the competition. It just goes to show that people are rightly proud of Scotland’s natural beauty and I am excited that we are able to bring such a beautiful, visual representation of the energy transition to the wider public and hope that the pictures and our calendar will inspire change from all of our audiences – from large corporations to communities and families at home.
A picture tells a thousand words, and these images really tell the story of the energy transition and what the reality of that actually looks like.
As part of our efforts to highlight the energy transition in Scotland, I have also recently embarked on a tour of AREG’s members, which will see me travelling across the north east, from the Moray coast to the wind farms in Kincardine, to get a better idea of what the energy transition means for different communities.
Please take time to enjoy viewing the winning entries on our website at: https://www.aberdeenrenewables.com/gallery/
The full list of winners in each category:
Landscape – a view to inspire – sponsored by Marks & Clerk
Portrait – people making a difference – sponsored by Scotgrip International
Under 16s – young people’s award – Aberdeen Science Centre
Action – energy in motion – sponsored by BIG Partnership
Wildlife/nature – impacts on fauna or flora – sponsored by Aberdeen City Council
Innovation – new technology or a new way of looking at the world – sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers