Green energy pioneer stands down saying ‘exciting future lies ahead’ 

One of the leading figures behind Shetland’s energy transition is to step down – saying the project’s main ambition has been achieved.

Gunther Newcombe will leave the leave the Orion project at the end of September after more than three years involvement.

Mr Newcombe, who came from an oil and gas background, including managing Sullom Voe Terminal, had been focussed on Orion’s aims to “harness the natural resources of Shetland”.

These included using onshore and offshore wind, as well as tidal and wave energy, to generate industrial quantities of green hydrogen and enable the electrification of oil and gas platforms.

Following recent news that  Statkraft and SVT operator EnQuest had major investments planned, Mr Newcome said Orion had “fulfilled its main ambition to put Shetland on the map as a renewable energy hub”.  

He said Shetland’s potential as a green hydrogen hub was now “widely recognised by government, industry and stakeholders”. 

“Given this progress, I believe now is a good time for me to step back and I have every confidence that an exciting future lies ahead for Shetland,” he added.

The SIC’s infrastructure director John Smith praised Mr Newcome for bringing “great drive and vision” to the council’s energy transition initiatives. 

“The profile and impact of Orion has been important in securing industry acknowledgement that Shetland will continue to be a major energy hub,” he added.

“His experience and skills have contributed greatly to the development of our future energy team who will continue to take this exciting area forward. 

“We want to thank Gunther for his valuable support and wish him well for the future”.

Orion is a strategic partnership between the SIC, Net Zero Technology Centre, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Lerwick Port Authority, and the University of Strathclyde.

It aims reduce emissions, deliver employment and supply chain opportunities for Shetland, and create a “sustainable and affordable clean energy future”.


Add Your Comment
  • Bob Marsh

    • July 2nd, 2023 2:57

    Shame none of this appears to be leading to cheaper electricity for Shetland consumers yet an environmental blot on the land and now seascape in exchange for providing international companies with huge profits the way revenue is calculated and assets are booked. Why is this being sanctioned in the way it is?


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