AREG NEWS: AREG photography competition winner highlights Aberdeen’s heritage and renewable energy future

December 13, 2022
AREG NEWS: AREG photography competition winner highlights Aberdeen’s heritage and renewable energy future

Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) has announced the winner of its 2023 ‘Art of Renewable Energy’ photography competition.

The winning image, taken by Tom Forbes, shows a swimmer entering the water at Aberdeen Beach against a backdrop of Aberdeen Wind Farm and offshore industry supply vessels. The photograph, which won the top prize of £200, will feature as the January image for AREG’s 2023 calendar.

Mr Forbes, who is a keen amateur photographer and works for an energy company in Aberdeen, explained how the winning photo came about.

“I finally joined a local camera club at the start of lockdown where one of my colleagues is also a member. In January last year, we headed down to the beach hoping to get some nice shots with surfers and there was a gentleman about to go into the water for a wild swim. From where I was standing, he lined up perfectly with the wooden groynes, so I framed him between these and the waves.

“It was only when I looked afterward that I noticed the wind farm and supply vessels in the background too. When the AREG competition came about, I thought the image signified everything the renewable energy industry represents in Aberdeen as well as our heritage in oil and gas. I didn’t expect to win so it was a nice surprise.”

Twelve runners-up, who will each receive a prize of £50, will also have their images featured in the calendar.

The competition, sponsored by floating offshore wind project Stromar, invited photographers to submit pictures that reflect the changing energy mix and the environmental challenges that are impacting our communities and the planet. This year’s submissions included images of offshore wind, solar power and the power of nature.

Nicholas Ritchie, Stromar project director, said: “We were delighted to sponsor the competition which perfectly captures what the energy transition looks like in real life.  The stunning winning images really highlight that renewable energy is not only vital for a secure carbon-free future, it can also fit in with the surrounding environment and very quickly become part of daily life.”

The winner of the competition was announced during a breakfast event at Aberdeen Science Centre where the 13 winning images will be displayed for the next year.

Jean Morrison, AREG Chairperson, said: “We would like to congratulate Tom on his winning entry and thank everyone who took the time to submit a photograph for our annual calendar competition. Once again, we had a great selection to choose from and that never makes it easy for the judges.

“As one of the original energy transition organisations in the North-east, it’s our mission to be a powerful voice in the net zero conversation, at home and overseas, and announcing the winner of the photography competition a month after our inaugural Energy Futures conference feels like a fitting way to end a successful year.”

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise