Powering Aberdeen

Aberdeen, along with every city in the world needs to become smarter, more efficient and significantly reduce its carbon footprint. For this reason Aberdeen has signed up to the Covenant of Mayors, a global initiative that requires signatory’s to measure their baseline emissions and establish an action plan to be achieve emission reductions through improved energy efficiency measures and greater use of renewable energy sources

Powering Aberdeen is Aberdeen’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). It sets out our plans to reduce emissions across the city through a combination of measures:

  • Greater uptake of alternative energy
  • Implementation of new technology to reduce resource use and improve efficiency
  • Improvements to energy efficiency
  • Greater move towards sustainable transport
  • Leadership and engagement.

Delivering Powering Aberdeen will provide wider benefits including improved health and wellbeing, better air quality, lower energy costs and the opportunity to promote collaboration to encourage industry growth in low carbon technology.

Through Powering Aberdeen we want to actively encourage the public sector, businesses, the community and individual citizens to come forward and work with us to deliver change and are keen to hear from anyone who is developing exciting initiatives or programmes which we can learn from and share to increase uptake across the city.

For further information on Powering Aberdeen contact ecocity@aberdeencity.gov.uk 

Powering Aberdeen has been the subject of a full Strategic Environmental Assessment; with the scoping report determining a full environmental report is required. The Strategic Environmental Assessment and supporting documents can be found below.


Citywide baseline emissions were calculated as part of developing the Sustainable Energy Action Plan. The starting point for developing a Sustainable Energy Action Plan is to establish the baseline emissions across the city. This is called the Baseline Emissions Inventory (BEEI) and has been established for 2005 as this was the earliest year that reliable baseline data was available. Progress since the baseline year is monitored through a Monitoring Energy and Emissions (MEEI) inventory. These have been completed for 2012 and 2014.

Powering Aberdeen is a collaborative programme which needs the public sector, businesses and the community to work together to deliver change. Powering Aberdeen was developed over a two year period, below are links to documents that detail how Powering Aberdeen has been made possible.

In February 2016 a Programme Manager was appointed to support the delivery of Powering Aberdeen. 

A Steering Group has been established to review progress and report on an annual basis to the Committee. This includes Aberdeen City Council and its main public sector partners.

The partners are the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, Police Scotland, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen Inspired, and Scottish Enterprise.

There is a range of activity already taking place across the city that supports the objectives of powering Aberdeen.

The Powering Aberdeen Action Plan reflects a range of activity taking place across the city by both Aberdeen City Council and its partners. You can download this below.

Here are examples of Powering Aberdeen in Action.

Alternative energy

Aberdeen Heat and Power provides a proportion of the city’s social housing stock with affordable, low carbon heat through an extensive heat network.

Aberdeen City Council are developing a new AECC and Energy from Waste facility that will generate heat and power which could provide low cost heat to households, businesses and public buildings in the area.

Donside Community Hydro is Aberdeen’s first community energy scheme. Energy from the River Don is used to generate electricity that will be sold to the national grid with income returning to the local community. This will create annual carbon savings of around 500 tonnes per year.

Energy efficiency

NHS Grampian is in the process of replacing approximately 6,000 lighting units with LEDs and replacing chiller units which will reduce the equivalent emissions by 5,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The new nursery at Aberdeen University is the first building in Scotland to achieve both passive house accreditation and a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) excellent rating for the energy-efficient design concept.

Aberdeen City Council has an on-going programme to upgrade their housing stock to improve quality and energy efficiency. For example the cladding of 7 multi storey blocks in Seaton will save 477 tonnes per year.

Sustainable transport

Aberdeen has the most extensive network of hydrogen buses in the UK and is also trialling duel fuel hydrogen diesel and hydrogen electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are now part of Aberdeen’s car club fleet and are supported by over 21 publicly accessible electric charging points across the city.

New technology

Aberdeen city is replacing all street lights with LED which will save 4,300 tonnes of carbon per year. Smart technology is being investigated to manage the lights more efficiently.

Electric vehicles are now part of Aberdeen’s car club fleet and are supported by over 21 publicly accessible electric charging points across the city.

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