THE MONDAY PLATFORM: Energy North reviews success of its first annual conference

Energy North conference logo 2014Energy North is a “not-for-profit” trade group of over 200 members in the Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy and Nuclear markets. Its area of operation covers Aberdeen City & Shire, Orkney, Shetland, Caithness, Sutherland, Ross-shire, Inverness, Moray, Argyll, Lochaber and the Outer Hebrides. This confirms the Energy North as the voice of Energy in the North of Scotland and Islands.

The North of Scotland and Islands are rich in Oil & Gas reserves, but also have excellent resources for the energies of the future – onshore and offshore wind, wave, tidal and hydro. As a consequence, it is therefore rich in expertise and experienced supply chain contractors, some of whom operate successfully and competitively worldwide.

Energy North held its first annual conference last week in Inverness on the theme of highlighting and exploring common themes and issues which unite the three main energy sectors – oil, gas and renewables – in Scotland.

Here, IAN COUPER, Chief Executive, Energy North, answers a range of questions covering the organisation’s priorities and market challenges for the region’s energy industry.

Ian Couper, Chief Executive, Energy North_SMALL


Q: What do you think is Energy North’s key priority?

A: To raise the profile of energy and energy-related members throughout the North of Scotland and Islands.

Q: What have been Energy North’s biggest achievements in the last few years?

A: These fall into three areas:

  • The growth of Focus Groups for sectors and local areas to give members their voice, enabling them to give direction to the actions of Energy North.
  • Raising the profile of members.
  • Raising the profile of the group as a whole.

Q: What brought you to work for Energy North?

A: A desire to improve the prospects of members in the North of Scotland and Islands, together with the wider northern economy.

Q: Where do Energy North’s members tend to see most benefits from it?

A: Through a collective improvement financially, a higher profile, and more opportunity to network internally and externally.

Q: How are market challenges changing for your members?

A: Mainly in the oil & gas side with fluctuating oil prices.

Q: What has been your most enjoyable project or activity?

A: Bringing developers and supply chain together around the developing opportunities in the Pentland Firth area.

Q: What further changes do you see for Energy North?

A: More focus on renewable energy progress and issues, and widening the work possibilities globally for oil & gas members.

Q:  Where do you see Energy North in 10 years’ time?

A: I see three key aspects:

  • A membership that is happy with the “Value for Money” aspect of Energy North.
  • The one dominant source of information on the Energy business in the North of Scotland and Islands.
  • An effective and constructive relationship with politicians and other decision makers for our industry.

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