Orkney’s Electric Future

Integrating smart grids and green transport


Urban Foresight was commissioned by Orkney Islands Council to develop a strategy and design a lighthouse project.

Orkney’s Electric Future is an ambitious project that integrates Orkney Islands Council’s stated goal to promote the uptake of of electric vehicles and more sustainable transport options with opportunities offered by Orkney’s high renewable energy generation, smart grid, and wider benefits related to tourism.

Led by Urban Foresight in collaboration with Aquatera Ltd and Robert Gordon University it is significant for addressing a number of local, national, UK and European policy objectives, specifically:

  • Increasing the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles;
  • Reducing emissions to tackle climate change;
  • Improving air quality
  • Achieving long-term sustainable transport solutions
  • Increasing sustainable economic growth
  • Developing cleaner and smarter energy systems and
  • Unlocking the sharing economy

Interviews with a variety of stakeholders informed the work whilst comprehensive desk study was supplemented by insights from engaging with the local community. The outcome of this work included a Feasibility Study and a Scoping report exploring the potential to establish a lighthouse project to achieve this and integrate smart electric mobility and energy management initiatives in the Islands. This work was supported by an Implementation Plan outlining the establishment and management of an Orcadian Living Laboratory for Integrated Energy.

Sector Expertise

Bottom-up understanding of the needs and motivations of citizens, as well as engaging with communities to inspire positive actions and behaviours 

How new technologies and business models are transforming the way people and goods are transported to create better connected, healthier and more sustainable cities 

Maximising the opportunities for employment and wealth creation and helping to establish the necessary governance, policy and capital funding to make this possible 

What We Delivered

Defining commercial opportunities and the underlying economic impacts of a project 

Professional engagement with relevant stakeholders and experts to uncover key insights and identify shared priorities 

Defining key stakeholders, determining their priorities and defining their relationship to a client or project 

We reimagine services in order to create new economic value and meet customer needs in new ways.