Launch Workshop 2012

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The aims of this initial, launch workshop are to,

  • Provide a collaborative space to learn from local stakeholders in Orkney (e.g. developers, planners, fishermen, local groups) who are engaged in making a reality and a future for marine energy.
  • Identify key research priorities, appropriate participants (academic, industry, and community partners), and funding sources, to establish new research agendas.
  • Identify key interactions and relations between environment, technology, and society to form rich sites of innovative research within social studies of marine energy.
  • Bring together researchers with related socio-cultural research experience whose insights can be drawn together to establish a broader social understanding of marine renewables.

The workshop is taking place in Orkney Islands, off the north east coast of Scotland, as a central location for marine energy.

  • Orkney has the highest concentration of wave and tidal current technology R&D and deployment activity in the world, with a community of developers, researchers, and public sector engaged in this process.
  • Orkney is home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), wave and tide energy grid-connected test site.
  • Sea-bed leases around the coast of Orkney have been awarded for 1.6 GW commercial generation (approximately 2000 devices).

Workshop participants have been invited from around the world from diverse disciplines.

We are delighted that the workshop is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme.

Workshop Outcomes

The main outcome of this workshop was the ISSMER Strategic Report ‘Establishing an Agenda for Social Studies of Marine Energy’

If you would like to be kept up to date about further outcomes of this workshop, please join our mailing list.

Workshop Travel

The Orkney Islands sit a short distance off the north coast of Scotland and are easily accessible with regular daily links to the mainland via air or sea.

Travel to Orkney

By Air Flybe, operated by Loganair, provide daily links to the major Scottish Airports (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness) all of whom have excellent UK and overseas flight connections available.

By Sea NorthLink Ferries offer three sailings a day from Scrabster (near Thurso in Caithness) direct to Stromness.  They also operate an Aberdeen/Kirkwall service with arrivals in Kirkwall on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and departures on Wednesday and Friday nights. Pentland Ferries offer the shortest crossing time to Orkney for cars and passengers. The route is the most sheltered between Gills Bay in Caithness and St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay in Orkney, providing a more appealing option to travellers who are unsure of travelling on the sea.

Travel to Stromness

Bus Stagecoach run a service between Kirkwall, including Kirkwall airport, and Stromness (search for ‘Orkney’ to see all the timetables). There are also connections from the ferry terminal at St Margaret’s Hope.

Taxis Local taxis can be booked in advance of arrival at Kirkwall airport, or may be contacted upon arrival.

Car Hire For longer stays car hire is available on the island through a number of companies including Drive Orkney, Orkney Car Rental, and Orkney Car Hire.

Further details on travelling to and around Orkney, as well as details on self-catering accommodation and Bed & Breakfasts, can be found on the main tourist information site Visit Orkney.


Stromness offers several hotels within the town. The Stromness Hotel occupies a prime location on the harbour front. Other Stromness hotels include the Ferry Inn and the Royal Hotel.

Beyond Stromness If you have your own transport you may wish to enjoy the beautiful Orkney scenery and stunning sunsets. The Merkister Hotel is situated on the shores of the Harray Loch, and the Standing Stones Hotel overlooks the Loch of Stenness. Both are just a short drive away from Stromness.

Natural Environment Research Council

Event: Launch Workshop 2012
Start: September 6, 2012
End: September 8, 2012
Organizer: Heriot Watt University, Orkney Campus, and IT University of Copenhagen
Updated: February 24, 2013
Venue: The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness
Orkney Islands, United Kingdom