Highland Council is taking steps to ensure the region benefits from its contribution to renewable energy production.
Highland currently generates one quarter of Scottish energy from onshore wind, and is home to significant opportunities in offshore wind, hydrogen, wave and tidal energy.
However, councillors and communities have long complained that Highland pays the highest bills in the UK, despite producing the most green energy.
Communities must benefit
In May 2021, the council agreed a motion to ensure that a fairer share of the income derived from Highland’s natural resources remain in the region.
Councillors contrasted the huge profits made by private energy firms with the relatively small financial benefit offered to communities.
Tomorrow, councillors are asked to agree to go out to tender for an action plan.
The action plan will set out how Highland can benefit from green energy and renewables, including opportunities for long term employment, skills development and career progression.
At the same time, the action plan will guide council through the process of setting up a Highland renewables fund.
The report also sets out the vast range of opportunities ahead for positioning Highland as a leading green economy. These opportunities include the Scotwind leasing agreements, Cromarty Firth freeport bid and the emerging hydrogen economy.
If successful, this action plan could transform the basis of the Highland economy and would form a strong starting point for the next council term.