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

Joseph Lynch

I joined Community Energy Scotland in April 2023 as a graduate placement to assist with the Net Zero Living Orkney & Shetland projects, supporting a range of tasks including related literature reviews and creating subsequent reports on previous projects undertaken by CES and their partner organisations. 

Whilst my background is in ecological studies, having earned a degree in zoology from Aberystwyth University, it was in the post-pandemic world I became more interested in finding practical solutions to the issues I saw the natural world was facing on a global scale. This led me to pursue a master’s degree in Marine Renewable Energy at Heriot-Watt’s International Centre for Island Technology in the Orkney Islands in 2021.

It was during my postgraduate studies that I was first introduced in detail to the idea of community energy, and how the various projects throughout Orkney and beyond have not only empowered communities to take ownership of their energy needs, but also to help ensure their continued existence in an increasingly uncertain future. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time living and studying in the Orkney Islands, and I’m delighted to not only be able to stay but to also work in an organisation that has secured the trust and friendship of countless communities throughout Scotland.


Phone: 07940 986164

Ryan Thomson

As the Net Zero Living (NZL) Project Officer based in Shetland, I am working on the NZL project with the aim of establishing a series of rural energy and transport hubs in Shetland.

Originally from the island of Unst, I ’emigrated’ to the Mainland of Shetland and reside in a small hamlet in Wadbister.  I was chairperson of the Environment & Transport Committee from 2017-2022 and that is where my interest and passion in our environment really took off.  I have started local campaigns in the past including ‘Da Muckle Gadderie’ which took hundreds of bags of rubbish off our Shetland roads, and the ‘No Single Use Plastics – Shetland’. The latter achieved significant success by leading to local businesses and organisations commit to reducing and eventually eradicating single use plastics wherever feasible and replace them with biodegradable alternatives.

I’m passionate about making our islands a more fair and just society while encouraging ways to do so to preserve our natural environment, so I am delighted to be working for Community Energy Scotland.

When I’m not working at CES or on Council duties I will usually be on the golf course, watching sport (either on TV or preferably in person!), cooking, on the treadmill or out walking throughout Shetland.

Here in Wadbister we’re also home to 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 tortoises, umpteen fish, 8 chickens, 4 rabbits (and at the time of writing 12 kits!), and until very recently 8 quails and 4 ducks!


Phone: 07940 919798

Kristopher Leask

As Policy Manager I’m responsible for lobbying the Scottish Government, UK Government, and regulators on behalf of our members as well as our wider policy strategy.

My background is in public policy and politics, especially pertaining to rural and island communities, decarbonisation, and energy.

I completed my undergraduate in International Relations at St Andrews, and continued on to a MSc in Renewable Energy Development with Heriot Watt ICIT based in Stromness Orkney. My MSc dissertation focussed on operationalising the concept of Energy Democracy as a tool to assess policy and strategies. I am also a local councillor for Kirkwall West & Orphir in Orkney Islands Council.

Having grown up in Orkney I’ve seen the huge potential which community energy initiatives, and community led projects, have. Community driven development and decarbonisation has a vastly wider multiplier effect and impact on the lives of local people and often fragile communities. It’s my role to ensure policymakers and regulators understand this, and to lobby for the removal of blocks to the vast potential that community driven decarbonisation and energy holds.

I’m always keen to talk to those with an interest in community energy policy, and to meet groups who have experienced first-hand policy blocks or challenges which we can take forward.


Cameron Duff

I started at Community Energy Scotland in December 2022 to support the Carbon Neutral Islands team as a carbon auditor. My role here was to quantify emissions sources and sinks across six islands, which would help inform community-led decarbonisation strategies on the path to carbon neutrality. Having completed these, I have shifted role to a Technical Support Officer, where I offer my knowledge and experience gained from various sectors to the benefit of communities through technical guidance, feasibility studies and other research. 

I studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Edinburgh and Strathclyde Universities, initially led by my interest in music technology. My focus quickly shifted to environmental issues, leading me to work as an electrical engineering consultant for an environmental building services engineering firm in Glasgow. In 2021, I decided to undertake a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Studies to formalise and build on my knowledge. 

During my postgraduate studies, I found an interest in energy injustices, through which I learned of the work of CES. I strongly believe that engaging with and supporting local groups to lead the way in the sustainable energy transition is essential to the just transition. The path I have taken hasn’t been linear, but I’m glad to be part of the great team here at CES. 

I am based in Glasgow and have been most of my life, though am drawn to the landscapes, heritage and community ethos of the Highlands and Islands: something I believe urban communities can learn much from. I escape the city when I can by visiting wild-camping spots and bothies accessible by public transport and active travel. City dwellers: it can be done! It certainly makes a welcome break from a run round the park. Indoors, you can find me cooking, making music or repairing vintage audio equipment. 


Phone: 07572 157205

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