Islands Centre for Net Zero

The Islands Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ) is a pan-island distributed innovation centre, supported by the Islands Deal that will support Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides to become lighthouse communities in the energy transition.

This initiative is being developed by a consortium that is deeply rooted in the islands themselves. The lead is EMEC, accompanied by partners such as Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Heriot-Watt University, Aquatera Ltd, and Community Energy Scotland.

The ICNZ is supported by joint investment of up to £16.5 million from the UK Government and Scottish Government.  Islands Deal funding will support the establishment of the core ICNZ facility at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus, the creation of a decarbonisation toolbox, and investment in energy transition capital projects across the islands.

Please read more about ICNZ on the website here: About Us | Islands Centre for Net Zero (

Hannah Macdonald

I have been working as the Outer Hebrides Community Officer with Community Energy Scotland since November 2023. My main role within the organisation is within the Islands Centre for Net Zero in the Outer Hebrides (ICNZ) as a Community Officer, working as part of the ICNZ team. We work alongside Island Stakeholders, community members and local businesses within the Outer Hebrides, assisting communities to achieve Net Zero. I am also responsible for working with the ICNZ Community Action Network to engage the wider community within decarbonisation projects and to assist with trialing and demonstrating these projects to help reduce the emission of carbon and improve local air quality. Another task which I am involved in delivering is working with partners from the UHI and Herriot Watt University, helping to ensure that the ICNZ Outer Hebrides aligns with local priorities and needs, to support the development of decarbonisation projects.  

I  graduated from the University of Stirling in June 2023 with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Geography. This four year course has equipped me with knowledge on the current challenges we are facing globally. For my final year at University I conducted a study on the Benefits and Barriers to a Community Owned Wind Farm Project in North UIst, the Outer Hebrides. Following this study I found that community energy within Uist demonstrated unique challenges that I wanted to assist in addressing. I decided to join Community Energy Scotland to use my learnt skills at University and learned knowledge from my dissertation study to assist local members within the Outer Hebrides to achieve Net Zero, whilst combating issues such as fuel poverty and grid issues.  I am motivated to have a positive impact on the Outer Hebrides and support these islands to become decarbonised communities. 

Beatriz Maroto

I joined the CES team in October 2023 and I am based in the Western Isles. In my role I support CES Outer Hebrides activities by working closely with the Community Power Outer Hebrides consortium; supporting the final stages of the RIPEET project; and I am part of the team for the development of the Islands Centre for Net Zero project. 

This post allows me to continue achieving my goals by working in a field I am passionate about, which includes the transition of the current energy system to decarbonisation, democratisation, and fair energy for all. 

Over the last ten years, I have worked in countries supporting communities to move towards the energy transition and advocating for equitable access. My work locations have included remote rural communities in Latin America and West Africa, and I have also worked on a collaborative project to reduce energy poverty in Spain. I recently completed four years’ work in Mongolia fighting climate change and air pollution, including supporting the development of an inclusive energy efficiency market for housing in the capital city, and the improvement of energy efficiency of public buildings in rural areas. Thanks to that work, I was awarded an honorary citizenship of the rural province of Arkhangai and the housing market project was recognised as the best Sustainable Consumption and Production (UNEP) business model in the Asian region by EU Switch Asia, where the World Bank promotes it as an example to replicate in the region. 

I also contributed to the development of renewable energies in Spain and UK, working on the design and implementation of grid connected PV solar and biomass district systems. I was a University Lecturer in the Masters course for Renewable Energies in Electrical Systems at the Carlos III Madrid University, and in the online course, Off-Grid Renewable Energies from The Institute for Sustainable Energy.  

My background is Energy Technologies Engineering (MSc) in Carlos III Madrid University, and Specialisation in International Community Development Projects by the Catalonian Oberta University and Spanish Red Cross. I’m a member of the Official Association of Industrial Engineers in Madrid, and a member of Som Energia, the first renewable energy generation and consumption cooperative in Spain.  

I was also a volunteer in the University Sustainability Advisory Commission, and in Engineers Without Borders Spain. Later I volunteered at Energía Sin Fronteras (Energy Without Borders) where I also worked. My passion for living in a more sustainable way made me join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) group in Madrid and start volunteering on organic farms during my holidays. Lately, I’ve been volunteering in ecosystem restoration projects including that in Hinterlands Forest at Findhorn Ecovillage. This last experience made me fall in love with Scotland and its nature.  

I enjoy outdoor sports such as hiking, running, swimming, kayaking, and to collaborate in the cultivation of vegetation and the restoration of ecosystems. So, what better way to do it than to be in the Western Isles?! 

I’m very happy to live in the Western Isles and contribute to CES’ role in community sustainable development! 


Phone: 07932 979116  

Pamela Holden

I am glad to be back working at Community Energy Scotland as Assistant Finance Officer, to help and support Laura our Finance Officer. I have gained many years of office experience and previously worked at Community Energy Scotland as an administrator, covering various administrative tasks within the organisation.

I have over 20 years experience in the electronics industry as process operator for Philips Semiconductors and Lead Operator and Trainer for Siemens Microelectronics. Since moving to the Highlands I have over 20 years of working in office administration.

In my spare time I like walking and cycling, and I love to travel to different places. I also like exploring different regions in France, so I am trying to learn the language!


Hannah Sharp

Working as part of the Carbon Neutral Islands team as communications officer, I am developing and delivering a communications strategy to engage participating island communities in the project. I make sure that all parties involved in the project have a voice and are kept up to date, as well as working on the website and social media. I’m excited that the islands are leading the way in the push for net zero in Scotland. I am based in the Stornoway office in the Isle of Lewis.

I graduated from the University of St Andrews with an honours degree in Biology with Arabic. I originally applied for Marine Biology and picked Arabic modules up along the way. I completed a corporate finance internship, but I wanted to apply my STEM background to an environmental role in order to engage with people and make a positive impact to the planet.   I came to Lewis after finishing university and the strong community and beautiful surroundings made me stay. 

I am a keen surfer and spend almost all of my free time in the water (yes, even in the winter). When the waves are flat, I go running and love exploring muddy trails.

Raina Bergasse

I’m working on the replicability aspect of the Carbon Neutral Islands (CNI) project, working with island communities to understand the learnings so far and the resources that are needed to help other Scottish islands embark on their decarbonisation journeys. I believe that the island led approach can help us make a significant positive impact, championing local knowledge to ensure a just transition and sustainable, low carbon futures.

I am from St. Lucia originally and have spent a lot of time outside in nature and this laid the foundation for my interest in sustainable development. Being from a small island and among those whose homes are most vulnerable to climate change, I believe in the impact that communities can have in demonstrating resilience and a path forward in addressing the climate crisis. I have worked on environmental and social justice projects with both the government and NGOs at home which has really taught me the importance of community participation and the power of grassroots organising in development projects.

I completed my undergrad in Global Development Studies at Queen’s University in Canada and did a semester abroad at University of Edinburgh. I live in Edinburgh now and have previously worked at Home Energy Scotland, working towards decarbonising homes in Scotland. I am excited to be working on the CNI project now, working more closely with communities and contributing to Scotland’s net zero targets.

Outside of work, my creative outlet is the kitchen, I love hosting dinner parties for my friends and trying out new recipes. I’m also trying to do more wild swimming in Scotland which can be hard when I’m used to a warm Caribbean sea but my favourite spot so far has been Yellowcraig Beach near Edinburgh!


Charlie Black

I returned to Community Energy Scotland in August 2023, to support Off-Grid Island communities with their involvement in the Carbon Neutral Island’s project.

I studied Geography (BSc) at the University of Hull, which sparked my interest and passion for environmentalism and sustainable development. This led me to pursuing a master’s degree in Renewable Energy (MSc) at Heriot Watt’s Orkney campus, from which I graduated in 2018.

I previously worked at CES for three years, as the Innovation Development Officer attached to projects; ReFLEX Orkney and SMILE. These schemes sought to decarbonise the Orkney electrical grid. I then went on to work at EMEC as a Project Officer, helping to deliver innovation projects focused on Hydrogen Storage and Integrated Energy Systems.

Throughout my studies and during my time in the workplace, I have developed skills in a variety of fields, including Project Management, Co-ordination, Procurement and Stakeholder Engagement.

I am keen to put these skills to use once again with the CNI project, where I’m excited to assist isolated communities develop plans for decarbonisation and implement strategies for improving their resilience to the impacts of climate change and energy security.

Originally from West London but I’m now permanently based in Orkney. Outside of work you’ll most likely find me, exploring nature, running, skateboarding or supporting my beloved Arsenal FC

Phone: 07400 862179

Artemis Pana

Originally from Greece, Artemis moved to Scotland in 1995 and lives on the Isle of Raasay. She has worked for a major funder, the Scottish Government and several charities in the fields of equalities, homelessness and addictions. For a while she was self-employed, supporting youth participation projects in Scotland and across Europe. She gained a Masters in Sustainable Rural Development from the University of the Highlands and Islands which led directly to the work she does now as National Coordinator for Scottish Rural Action, helping to deliver the Scottish Rural & Islands Parliament and the European Rural Parliament.

Artemis is Secretary of Raasay Community Renewables, a community benefit society which develops renewable energy projects  and sits on the Board of CLIMAVORE CIC and on the Advisory Board of the Scottish Rural & Islands Transport Community. She is appointed to Consumer Scotland’s  Advisory Committee on Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances. She also Chairs the Parent Teacher Association of Raasay Primary School which in 2023/24 has a pupil roll number of four.   


A Wheely Great N76 Trip

Back when the sky was still blue and the N76 partners were getting ready for a busy summer of activities, the N76 group and guests visited the “Wheels of Fleet” community cycling project in Gatehouse of Fleet. Huge thanks to Thornhill & District Community Transport for getting us there safely. 

We were greeted by our host, Danny, and an impressive display of bikes. All bicycles available at Wheels of Fleet are second-hand, donated, and refurbished by their team of expert volunteers. Danny led us through the history of Wheels of Fleet, starting with his own idea to encourage cycling in a cycle-depleted community and leading to the formation of a local identity centred around cycling and community cohesion. After the presentation, the group explored the extensive warren of workshops and bikes, stopping to admire the herb garden along the way. 

Wheels of Fleet projects include second-hand sales and hire, e-bikes, led rides and repairs, as well as the all-important bike wash station. During our tour, volunteers were busy fixing bikes and happy cyclists came in and out, pausing to say hello to Danny. Wheels of Fleet is run with affordability and inclusivity in mind, making it a welcoming community hub. 

Alongside these projects, the weekly “bike bus” helps Gatehouse residents with the school run, getting children to school without cars and making the journey fun. Danny happily described the chatter and excited atmosphere that follows the bike bus as he and volunteers escort the young cyclists to school. 

With appetites worked up for cycling and for lunch, the group crossed the road to Galloway Lodge to enjoy some great food and continue the conversation with Danny. Thanks to Galloway Lodge for fitting us all in! 

You can keep up with Wheels of Fleet here

As part of the N76 project, we are running learning and networking events throughout the year. Over the next few months, other in-person and online events will be announced based on specific aspects of low-carbon transport that interest the N76 partners. To keep up with the N76 project and sign up to our events, follow us on Facebook.  

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