The future of Scotland's renewable energy industry will be the focus of the 8th annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC), which takes place on 25 April at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, will deliver this year's keynote speech, addressing the event on the Scottish Government's Energy Strategy.
The event, held every year since 2010 by leading law firm Harper Macleod, will also examine the technology and innovations which could drive the Highland and Islands renewable industry in the coming years, as it battles against numerous challenges.
Speakers will include representatives from innovative projects such as the Fair Isle Electricity Company, which is developing a £2.65m scheme involving energy storage, wind turbines and a solar array which would provide a guaranteed 24-hour electricity for the remote island for the first time.
Among the key areas SHREC will focus on are:
- Repowering existing renewable energy installations
- Heat networks and public/private collaboration
- Communities and energy storage projects
David Bone, head of Energy & Natural Resources at Harper Macleod and one of Scotland's leading renewable energy lawyers, said: "While the renewable industry has had to deal with a number of challenges in recent years, SHREC is still going strong and this year we'll be focusing on the positives and identifying key opportunities that exist for the sector, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.
"Of course the key question is going to be whether, in the absence of UK Government support, the Scottish Government can reinvigorate renewable energy development and we're delighted to welcome the Minister to outline the government's strategic ambitions."
Other speakers at the event will include Kenny Taylor from Scottish Natural Heritage, Clive Meikle of Bidwells, Colin Anderson of Banks Renewables, Paul Moseley of Scottish Futures Trust, Stuart Reid of HWE, Neil Harrison of RE:Heat, Brad Doswell of Community Energy Scotland, Susan Clark of Great Glen Consulting and Keith Hounsell of Green Acorn.