Time to focus on Scotland’s low carbon energy future – Jean Morrison

May 10, 2021
Time to focus on Scotland’s low carbon energy future – Jean Morrison

I thought that it would be timely to reflect on AREG’s hopes for the next government in terms of reducing emissions to help meet net zero goals. Championing the supply chain for almost 20 years, our ambition is for the north east to be a world-leading centre of excellence for the production and use of renewable energy.

Over the last year, we have seen commitment and progress with the publishing of the hydrogen policy statement and the updated climate change plan (2018–2032) in December.

In the year when the COP26 conference comes to Glasgow, we are calling on the next government to ensure that developing Scotland’s low carbon energy future is a priority. This will be essential in building resilience and driving the economic recovery from Covid-19, as well as enabling net zero to benefit many generations to come as part of the ‘green industrial revolution’.

In March, it was encouraging to see further progress at a UK-level with the Budget announcement of £27 million for the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone. Projects like these are significant in recognising the economic potential of our region, creating a roadmap to meet net zero targets as we aim to achieve a just energy transition for all.

The North East of Scotland is already home to over £5 billion of low carbon infrastructure projects, with exciting work being carried out as part of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub, the Acorn carbon capture and storage and hydrogen project and the city combined heat and power network.

AREG members are making some of the biggest impacts in this transition to net zero through ground-breaking installations and technologies, such as Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre and Equinor’s Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm. AREG is also involved in the European Leaders of Blue Energies (ELBE) project, which brings together the efforts and interests of SMEs from six European regions in offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies.

It is time for positive transformation and with sufficient governmental support, renewable and low carbon energy can create and preserve jobs, helping to support the future sustainability of the region’s economy and make a significant contribution to our net zero targets.

We will continue our strong working relationship and engage with the next Scottish Government to highlight these important projects and connect our members with the major green economic opportunities for the North East.

I have high hopes for Scotland’s energy sector over the next five years and beyond.

Jean Morrison, Chair of AREG


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