Renewable Energy Action Plan

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Our Vision and Priorities

Reap reportThe Renewable Energy Action Plan has been developed to assist Argyll and Bute realise its vision for the development of the renewable energy sector. Our vision is:

“Argyll and Bute will be at the heart of renewable energy development in Scotland by taking full advantage of its unique and significant mix of indigenous renewable resources and maximising the opportunities for sustainable economic growth for the benefit of its communities and Scotland.”

Argyll and Bute is Scotland’s second largest local authority area and no other local authority in Scotland has its scale and mix of renewable resources, as our interactive renewables map indicates.

mapGiven the area’s distinguished track record of pioneering and delivering renewable energy projects, we are well placed to respond to the pressing timelines for the industry’s development and take advantage of the economic opportunities being offered to our communities from renewable energy.

The Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP), which provides a co-ordinating framework for action, is based on three themes. Delivering a:

By working with local, national and European partners to deliver these themes, Argyll and Bute can play a major role in providing energy security, creating sustainable economicdevelopment and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to facilitate focus, we have identified a number of priorities for the REAP to deliver:

  • Optimise the development of the Renewable Energy Sector in Argyll and Bute in a manner that promotes sustainable economic development and recognises the need for co-existence with other economic activities, our environment and our communities.
  • Work with partners to secure capacity within the transmission network in order to unlock the future potential of our considerable renewable energy assets and provide confidence to investors.
  • Assist in the prioritisation and promotion of supporting physical and transport infrastructure investment to enable the growth of the Renewable Energy Sector.
  • Foster a partnership approach to securing local socio-economic and community benefit for the communities across Argyll and Bute.

Connected Argyll and Bute Theme

Identifying and prioritising infrastructure investment and connectivity and encouraging policies that facilitate development of the Renewable Energy Sector, primarily relating to:

  • Promoting transmission solutions in regard to capacity and charging.
  • Identifying and prioritising port and transport infrastructure including road, rail, marine and air.

Competitive Argyll and Bute Theme

Developing competitive businesses, places and communities:


  • Promoting renewables related Business Development and Inward Investment.
  • Identifying and developing Supply Chain Opportunities.
  • Delivering Skills Development to businesses and residents.
  • Undertaking Research and Analysis to promote investment in the area’s resources.


  • Developing Campbeltown/Machrihanish as a centre for off – shore renewables as prioritised in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan.


  • Securing socio-economic benefit for our communities and assisting the development of local renewable projects.

Collaborative Argyll and Bute Theme

Strengthening collaborative working between public, private and third sector partners:

National and European Policy and Funding

  • Influencing relevant national and European policies and accessing funds for our renewable energy priorities.

Building Partnerships - Argyll and Bute Renewable Alliance (ABRA)

  • Ensuring that relevant agencies, developers and stakeholders are engaged and are working together to realise our collective vision.

Working Together to Power Scotland’s Future

Argyll and Bute recognises the importance of working together to optimise the utilisation of our renewable energy assets in a manner that benefits our area’s communities and Scotland.

Whilst hydro and on-shore wind have been the dominant renewable technologies in recent years we are aware of the massive opportunities being offered in the emerging off-shore wind, marine and biomass sectors. Argyll and Bute is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities.

In order to secure this prize we:

  • have a vision and action plan that has support from public, private and third sector partners
  • are working together to achieve this vision
  • will ensure partner resources and influence are aligned accordingly.

Argyll and Bute’s Factors of Competitive Advantage

Argyll and Bute has a huge indigenous renewable resource of hydro, wind, wave, tidal, biomass and geothermal. The area’s Factors of Competitive Advantage includes:

  • A unique and significant mix of on-shore and off-shore energy resources that could potentially power every home in Scotland.
  • Much of the area is close to the Central Belt of Scotland and Ireland and is ideally positioned for supply of electricity to large urban areas.
  • A world-class track record of innovation including -
    • Cruachan hydro-electric scheme, one of the largest pump storage power stations in the UK
    • Scotland’s first large scale commercial windfarms pioneered in Argyll and Bute
    • The Limpet, at Portnahaven, Islay, the world’s first commercial wave power energy scheme
    • World leading demonstration Tidal Array to be located in the Sound of Islay using Hammerfest StrØm technology
    • The community windfarm development on Gigha the first of its kind in Scotland
  • The ports and airports required for “opening up” the Western Seaboard and Irish Sea.
  • Campbeltown / Machrihanish is prioritised in the Governments National Renewables
    Infrastructure Plan as a key site for Scotland’s off-shore renewables industry
  • The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) near Oban is one of the world’s leading oceanographic institutions and is vital in enabling and informing all aspects of marine renewable energy through their research and teaching, for example the Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass project
  • Culture of collaboration - the Council has innovative concordats with major power companies, such as Scottish Power Renewables and Scottish and Southern Electricity to ensure successful utilisation of the area’s assets; the Council works closely with other partners in the Highlands and Islands and across Scotland
  • Track record of making things happen - on-shore wind development; the development of a strong Biomass industry; innovative delivery mechanisms between public and private sectors; seven community benefit trust funds

You can read the full version of the Renewable Energy Action plan here.