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.

What We Delivered

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

Practical insights and evidence to support decision-making, policy development and the case for investments

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

We write award winning reports that are concise, logical and engaging

Defining the key features, structure, criteria for success, and major deliverables of a new project or programme

Sector Expertise

We have globally recognised expertise in the policies, infrastructure, business models and investments required to support widespread adoption of electric vehicles

Developing secure, clean and affordable energy systems that are optimised for renewables and integrate new products and services

Expertise in planning, designing and overseeing construction of buildings and infrastructure

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

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