The soil of Orkney is generally very fertile and most of the land is taken up by farms, agriculture being by far the most important sector of the economy and providing employment for a quarter of the workforce. More than 90% of agricultural land is used for grazing for sheep and cattle, with cereal production utilising about 4% (4,200 hectares (10,000 acres)) and woodland occupying only 134 hectares (330 acres).
Fishing has declined in importance, but still employed 345 individuals in 2001, about 3.5% of the islands' economically active population, the modern industry concentrating on herring, white fish, lobsters, crabs and other shellfish, and salmon fish farming.
Today, the traditional sectors of the economy export beef, cheese, whisky, beer, fish and other seafood. In recent years there has been growth in other areas including tourism, food and beverage manufacture, jewellery, knitwear, and other crafts production, construction and oil transportation through the Flotta oil terminal. Retailing accounts for 17.5% of total employment, and public services also play a significant role, employing a third of the islands' workforce.
In 2007, of the 1,420 VAT registered enterprises 55% were in agriculture, forestry and fishing, 12% in manufacturing and construction, 12% in wholesale, retail and repairs, and 5% in hotels and restaurants. A further 5% were public service related. 55% of these businesses employ between 5 and 49 people.
Orkney has significant wind and marine energy resources, and renewable energy has recently come into prominence. The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is a Scottish Government-backed research facility that has installed a wave testing system at Billia Croo on the Orkney Mainland and a tidal power testing station on the island of Eday. At the official opening of the Eday project the site was described as "the first of its kind in the world set up to provide developers of wave and tidal energy devices with a purpose-built performance testing facility." Funding for the UK's first wave farm was announced by the Scottish Government in 2007. It will be the world's largest, with a capacity of 3 MW generated by four Pelamis machines at a cost of over £4 million. During 2007 Scottish and Southern Energy plc in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde began the implementation of a Regional Power Zone in the Orkney archipelago. This scheme (that may be the first of its kind in the world) involves "active network management" that will make better use of the existing infrastructure and allow a further 15MW of new "non-firm generation" output from renewables onto the network.
Read more about this topic: Orkney
Other articles related to "economy":
... Copper mining is an important part of the economy of Katanga province ... Cobalt mining by individual contractors is also prevalent ...
... Scotland has a western style open mixed economy that is closely linked with the rest of Europe and the wider world ... Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by the shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries ... shift from a manufacturing focus towards a more service-oriented economy ...
... several large employers in the financial services, insurance and health care sectors of the economy ...
... The war furthered the decline of the Iranian economy that had begun with the revolution in 1978–79 ...
... that lower aggregate expenditures in the economy contributed to a massive decline in income and to employment that was well below the average ... In such a situation, the economy reached equilibrium at low levels of economic activity and high unemployment ... basic idea was simple to keep people fully employed, governments have to run deficits when the economy is slowing, as the private sector would not invest enough to keep production at the normal level and bring the ...
Famous quotes containing the word economy:
“War. Fighting. Men ... every man in the whole realm is in the army.... Every man in uniform ... An economy entirely geared to war ... but there is not much war ... hardly any fighting ... yet every man a soldier from birth till death ... Men ... all men for fighting ... but no war, no wars to fight ... what is it, what does it mean?”
—Doris Lessing (b. 1919)
“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.... for really new ideas of any kindno matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to bethere is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”
—Jane Jacobs (b. 1916)
“The basis of political economy is non-interference. The only safe rule is found in the self-adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle, and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)