Last year, AREG officially marks its 10th anniversary, which is a major milestone for an organisation that was set up at a time when renewables were barely featured in the UK energy agenda. AREG is now one of the longest established renewable energy development organisations in the UK and is widely recognised as an influential player and key enabler in the Scottish, UK and wider European marketplace. Membership has grown to more than 170 businesses, with AREG actively assisting these members to capitalise on new market opportunities.
Aberdeen has become a leading focal point for renewable energy with global acknowledgement of its energy know-how and supply chain skills – particularly in the fields of offshore/ marine renewables, hydrogen and biomass. In order to build on the last ten years of outstanding achievements, enhance its membership services and further accelerate the development of the region’s renewable energy supply chain, AREG has recently announced some changes to its operational structure.
The restructure will see AREG working more closely in partnership with Aberdeen City Council to identify and help facilitate the delivery of projects that could provide additional renewable energy infrastructure and bring significant economic benefits to the region. Among these new initiatives, AREG is opening up membership to organisations outwith Aberdeen City and Shire to expand networks, foster partnerships and enable broader avenues for members to access domestic and international business opportunities.
As a result, Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has already joined the organisation. Through its membership, OIC will gain access to a wide network of supply chain expertise, innovation and global connections whilst AREG and its members will benefit by gaining access to valuable new contacts and opportunities in a region which is building considerable momentum in renewables.
Moving forward, AREG will retain its shareholding in one of its flagship projects, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) and in recognition of the importance of this project its involvement will be managed by the Council’s economic development service. The EOWDC represents a huge opportunity to help the region develop its energy-based economy and accelerate the growth of the Scottish and UK offshore wind industry, which has phenomenal potential, with an estimated value of £100billion. Lessons learned and skills developed through the EOWDC will be exportable, thus enabling our companies to win new business around the world.
We are proud of what AREG has and is continuing to achieve and we look forward to building on the strategic value of the local energy supply chain and assisting our members to win more business. We want to help build a clean, green sustainable energy industry to support jobs and prosperity for future generations and leave a positive lasting legacy.