As a leading voice for its 270-plus members, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) is gearing up for its 20th year, and with a strong focus on ensuring a just and equitable transition, the size of the prize has never been more evident.
With the ongoing war in Ukraine and a need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, coupled with rising energy costs and intensifying household budgets, minds are sharply focused on the transition to green energy.
The 2022 IPCC report, which shares the latest knowledge on climate change, urges ambitious, accelerated action to adapt to climate change as well as deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, to avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity, and infrastructure.
A sobering thought, these factors have undoubtedly contributed to the rapid growth of AREG membership over the past year with organisations looking to make their contribution to the net zero transition.
We’ve also seen widespread interest in our seminars and network groups and a sell-out conference.
Coinciding with COP27, our inaugural Energy Futures Conference and Exhibition attracted more than 400 delegates and included a keynote speech from Michael Matheson, Net Zero and Energy Secretary.
The premise for the day was to explore how the north-east of Scotland can utilise its expertise from 50 years of oil and gas heritage to become a global leader in the energy transition.
The event concluded with an evening dinner with New York-based sustainable cities expert and Global Scot, Lolita Jackson MBE, sharing her experience of a career in climate improvements and resilience within communities.
Furthermore, earlier in the year we welcomed five new board members to support the next stage of AREG’s growth, enhancing our existing expertise and adding significant value to our growing membership community.
Our expanded membership covers a broad spectrum of companies, from global organisations to local and community groups.
Our members have made huge strides in 2022 including bp and Aberdeen City Council who formed the joint venture bp Aberdeen Hydrogen Energy Ltd, to develop a green hydrogen production hub in the city.
Hydrogen is estimated to be worth up to £25bn for the Scottish economy and support as many as 300,000 jobs by 2045.
The North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition (NESH2A) Steering Committee is a newly formed group of experienced executives from both public and private sector organisations who are actively working on developing a hydrogen economy in the region.
As committee members, AREG supports its vision to establish the region at the forefront of low-carbon hydrogen production, distribution, and use.
In addition, 70% of ScotWind developments will be located off the coast of Aberdeen city and shire, which brings huge opportunities for the region’s supply chain and will help secure investment for green jobs.
The total value to Scotland, of the supply chain commitments included in ScotWind projects, is estimated to be more than £28bn, an average of £1.4bn per project.
Looking ahead to 2023 AREG will continue to work actively to link up developers and projects with its membership and focus on growing networking opportunities, events, and visibility of the group, which continues to act as a catalyst for new projects and business in the area.