Caithness Site Included For Evaluation In Major Clean Energy Development
11th June 2021
Plans for Caithness to become the host site for a prototype generator for one of the world's most efficient, cleanest and lowest carbon forms of energy have taken a step forward.
A bid to host the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) prototype fusion power plant was submitted by the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) in March.
This has now been included in a list of 15 sites for further investigation by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), who launched the open call in December 2020.
If the Caithness bid is successful, the development could create hundreds of high-quality jobs locally, drive wider economic growth and attract further investment to the region.
Fusion technology is being developed worldwide as a transformational source of low carbon energy. It seeks to replicate the energy production process of the sun by fusing hydrogen into helium, producing huge amounts of clean energy, with virtually no emissions or waste.
The development would ultimately produce electricity for the national grid and could be instrumental in achieving Scotland's net-zero targets and a carbon neutral economy.
Ian Ross, chair of the CNSRP, said:
"This is a great opportunity for Caithness and North Sutherland. We already have significant expertise in highly regulated technically challenging developments. We also have an existing supply chain, a welcoming community and support from all CNSRP member organisations.
"The fusion prototype development would dovetail perfectly with the decommissioning of Dounreay and complement our area’s existing wind and tidal forms of renewable energy generation.
“All of this and more means Caithness is ideally placed to host this development and make sure it delivers widespread long-term economic and community benefits, as well as wider progress towards the country’s net zero targets.
“I am delighted we have made it to the next stage and look forward to working with the UKAEA on evaluating our bid."
CNSRP Peter and Ian
Businesses in rural areas across Scotland are being encouraged to take part in a new Rural Business Panel survey, which gets underway this week. More than 2,700 firms are to be contacted for their views on topics such as economic confidence, business performance and optimism, as well as current concerns such as financing, increased costs, supply chain issues and labour challenges.
The investment will support the delivery of nine different projects from across the region, including new visitor facilities, services and installations at mountain resorts, as well as investment to reduce carbon impacts at key visitor sites and buildings. The financial support is being distributed by HIE on behalf of the Scottish Government, which has pledged £3.95m to help Scotland's tourism industry be greener and more sustainable.
A new report launched (Wednesday 29th September 2021), commissioned by Caithness Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, demonstrates the economic benefits that Space Hub Sutherland will bring to the North Highland and Moray areas. Space Hub Sutherland - a new satellite launch site - will bring huge employment and tourism benefits to the Scottish Highlands.
Community representatives from across Scotland are taking part in an online programme to help shape the future of local tourism destination management. The three-month online Communities Leading in Tourism course, which starts on Tuesday 28 September 2021, is designed to boost tourism sector expertise and destination leadership skills.
A Lewis man who recently moved to Shetland has been awarded funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help make kite energy a reality. Rod Read set up his company, Windswept and Interesting Ltd in 2012 when he started developing kite turbines.
The current phase of engineering works to strengthen the 1.9km viaduct that supports the railway track began in April 2021, with the aim of returning the funicular to service early next year. However, despite strong progress made in tough conditions, HIE has concluded that the planned timescale now needs to extend into the second half of 2022.
Orkney Cheese Company Limited is investing in a £925,000 refurbishment project, which is set to increase production, create jobs and help the company reach new markets over the next three years. Significant improvements will be made at the Hatston Industrial Estate based facility in Kirkwall.
There are currently several opportunities, across a broad range of disciplines for Graduates, from HNC to Post Graduate, to apply for within Businesses and Social Enterprises across Caithness and Sutherland. To register an interest please forward the following information firstname.lastname@example.org mid-day 17th September 2021: Full Name Educational Institute Award Attained and Subject Year of Graduation(e.g., 2020) Any additional subject/graduate position interests E-Mail Address Legally permitted towork in the UK (Yes / No) Available to work from Caithness or Sutherland (Yes / No) The details provided will be forwarded to the Businesses and Social Enterprises that have current vacancies and they will arrange to contact the Graduates direct.
Another 22 young business leaders from around the Highlands and Islands have become the latest to take part in a year-long programme aimed at developing the next generation of entrepreneurs. The IMPACT30 programme is open to people aged 35 and under who are in key decision-making roles in young, ambitious businesses.
For the 5th year running HIE has joined forces with SE and SOSE to fund the RLP, which is aimed at business managers and employees from rural businesses (both private/social enterprises), who have a desire to develop their leadership skills and grow their business. In previous years farmers and land-based consultancies have dominated the cohorts, HIE are keen to promote the opportunity to rural businesses across the sectoral mix we have in our rural economy.