COP26 & Stronghouse – A Shared Mission

02 November 2021 - Published by Deirdre Buist
With the launch of the CPO26 summit in Glasgow on October 31st, the world is extra focussed on the urgent need for climate action. Besides the enormity of the challenges we face, there are also inspiring examples of best practice initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions. Our Scottish Stronghouse partners from The Orkney Islands and Robert Gordon University are showcasing their actions and activities to address carbon reduction. We're on a shared mission.

The Orkney Islands have been highlighted world-wide for their pioneering progress. Their geography has proven to be the ideal testing area for innovative solutions in the energy transition. Orkney has been home to renewable energy innovation for more than 60 years, with ground-breaking wind test sites located in the islands since 1950s. From 2013, Orkney has generated over 100% of its electricity demand from renewable power sources, produced locally by innovative energy technologies. Environmental and socio-economic sustainability, community involvement, and the replicability of the Orkney approach make it so inspirational for others.

Relating technology & community

Transational exchange of knowledge and experience is key within the Interreg North Sea Region Programme. Stronghouse has been introduced to the Scottish islands’ extraordinary energy revolution through our project partners at the Orkney Islands Council. While making clever use of natural characteristics and resources to determine the available energy sources, they realize that installing relevant technologies is one thing. Building relationships between the technology and the people is equally essential, thus empowering the communities and making these the driving force of the energy transition and renovation wave.

Combating energy poverty

Within Stronghouse the Orkney Islands Council share their significant experience in developing and coordinating energy poverty and energy efficiency projects – again proving that a small community can be great when combating energy poverty. Together with our other Scottish partners from the Robert Gordon University they are also working on an App/web-based tool aimed to motivate homeowners and provide a better understanding of  energy-efficiency and retrofit options, including both financial and technical possibilities.

RGU showcasing sustainability

During COP26, RGU represents a variety of sustainability-focussed activities, including a film showcasing Stronghouse, and with emphasis on supporting the key themes of this milestone climate conference. As signatories of the Race to Zero campaign and with a Net Zero Campus stategy the university is taking visible action.

RGU is an active Stronghouse partner. The university’s knowledge and capacity in energy retrofitting is a real asset and enhances the exchange between academia, municipalities and the private sector across the North Sea region. The recently published, comprehensive Review of Existing Energy Retrofit Decision Tools for Homeowners is a valuable contribution to the co-design process of digital energy-renovation tools to facilitate and motivate individual homeowners. RGU is also collaborating with our new partners from Kishorn Insulations to jointly evaluate, with the homeowner, renovation and insulation techniques.

Real change, step-by-step

As the world top converges in Glasgow for COP26 to deliberate over the future, the challenges may seem overwhelming and the call to act now is loud and clear. The Stronghouse project plays its role by supporting and facilitating individual homeowners and communities in taking effective action - with tangible results. Real change is taking place, step-by-step, and every individual can be part of the transition.