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21st May 2007

The increasing strength of the Highlands and Islands renewable energy sector will be on show in Aberdeen this week when 22 businesses from the region exhibit at All Energy - the UK's largest energy conference and exhibition - on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th May.

The extensive renewable energy resources, the breadth of expertise and the infrastructure the region has to offer will be demonstrated by the companies on show, from Vestas Celtic in Argyll to the PURE Energy Centre in Shetland.

The exhibiting companies cover a range of technologies and activities in the renewables sectors, including marine, wind, geothermal and biomass.

The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney will be promoting its wave energy test site as well as its newly completed tidal test site.

Electrical engineering firm Bryan Rendall, from Orkney, will launch a new state-of-the-art 6 kW wind turbine at the conference, while wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Celtic will demonstrate its activity in larger scale turbines.

Examples of the research and development (R&D) currently ongoing in the region will be illustrated by North Highland College's Environmental Research Institute which will showcase digital maps depicting detailed estimates of tidal and wave energy in the Pentland Firth area.

Other R&D activity will be shown by Orkney-based Scotrenewables and the International Centre for Island Technology at Heriot Watt's Orkney campus.

Environmental consultants Aquatera and Aurora, both from Orkney, and Inverness-based Synergie Environ will be attending, as will Glenelg-based equipment suppliers Chillwind and Ullapool-based geothermal heat pump specialists Invisible Heating.

The expanding biomass sector will be represented by Ross-shire-based Highland Birchwoods and Fort William- based Highland Wood Energy.

Trade groups, North of Scotland Industries Group (NSIG) and Highland Renewable Energy Group (HiREG), and renewable energy forums from Orkney and Caithness will be exhibiting and representing their members.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC), and Orkney Islands Council will also be attending to promote the many opportunities that exist for new renewable energy developments in the region.

Elaine Hanton, head of renewables at HIE, said: "This is a very important event for HIE and the renewables businesses we support. It is our chance to showcase what the Highlands and Islands has to offer to an international audience. We have much to be proud of in our region's contribution to the renewables sector, including: the micro renewables projects that are helping to turn around the fortunes of many communities; the larger-scale hydro and onshore wind projects; the extensive local supply chain that exists to support the industry; and of course the world-firsts in wave, tidal and offshore wind technologies.

"With all this activity, it is no surprise that each year we are seeing more and more businesses exhibiting at this event under the HI-energy brand, promoting the area, its successes and of course the huge potential that exists for further renewable energy development."

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