About Us


Iona Renewables’ dual purposes are to advance environmental protection and improvement and community development on the island of Iona. Iona Renewables pursues these purposes through:

    • Identifying opportunities to maximise renewable energy generation, storage and use on Iona through feasibility work;

    • Securing funding and overseeing delivery of projects, for instance, for reduced energy demand and sustained carbon-saving behaviour change — or where projects involve development of an asset such as the Iona Heat Network, progressing projects to an appropriate stage where they are taken over by the trading subsidiary;

    • Maximising opportunities for community ownership and benefit;

    • In due course, where community benefit is generated, reinvesting resources to support social, economic and environmental sustainability of the island;

    • Ensuring excellent partnership-working and community engagement and support.

Our starting point was an island Energy Audit (2015) which demonstrated that (aside from some small-scale generation from solar panels) 100% of the island’s energy is currently imported, much of it high carbon and unsustainable, and 100% of revenue from energy (approximately £330,000 per year) is exported back off the island again. Subsequent feasibility work (2016–17) showed that a great deal could be done to change the types of energy used as well generating up to 100% of it cleanly and sustainably from local renewable resources.

As a result of Iona Renewables’ activities, funds will be able to remain on the island with all profits used in due course to support local social, economic and environmental sustainability, as well as running costs being reduced. The visitor economy, which is so important to the island’s economy, will benefit from significant investment and further strengthen its environmental credentials.

The Energy Audit was supported by CARES and Scottish Islands Federation and carried out by a qualified resident.

The feasibility study – Maximising Renewable Energy Generation, Storage and Use on Iona – was supported by CARES.


Our board

Jane Martin – Chair of Iona Renewables and Iona Energy Ltd.

Jane Martin grew up in central Scotland and studied geography but moved to Iona fifteen years ago to work in the medieval Abbey and talk about history every day. Now she looks after a variety of historical sites across the west coast and a dispersed team of passionate staff. Outside work, Jane has several community roles and enjoys gardening.

Philip Ruhemann – Secretary of Iona Renewables and Iona Energy Ltd.

Philip Ruhemann comes from an environmental background which includes an MSc in Human Ecology and Resource Management and roles with various environmental organisations such as Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Education Council.

Philip carried out the Scottish Island Federation funded Iona Energy Audit in 2016 which quantified the heavy use of carbon based fuels on the island and the associated costs of its use.

He lives on Iona with his family where he works as a psychotherapist.

Nat Baldwin – Treasurer of Iona Renewables and Iona Energy Ltd.

Nat worked as a corporate lawyer at an international law firm before specialising in valuation and disposition of intellectual property (“IP”) assets. He managed the UKs leading team in this service and has worked on many large corporate restructuring cases from Thomas Cook to MFI. His expertise has been independently recognised by being named in the TRI 250 “Hall of Fame” which recognises those responsible for the progression of industry standards, and inspiring excellence across the restructuring industry. He now works as a consultant in IP services and owns and manages a residential property portfolio. Nat is passionate about Iona and its welfare having been a frequent visitor since birth. He is based in Glasgow and owns a property on Iona, which has been in his family for generations.

Katy Russon – Iona Renewables trustee and Iona Energy Ltd. director

Katy was born and raised on Iona and recently returned after studying and working in Glasgow for 16 years. After completing her studies, she worked as a lawyer for 10 years with a third sector organisation, specialising in Social Welfare Law and Civil Litigation.  She now lives back on Iona, along with her husband and 2 children, and is a full time owner operator of the Argyll Hotel.

Rick Johnston – Iona Renewables trustee and Iona Energy Ltd. director

Rick was born and raised on Iona and recently returned after studying and working, predominantly in Aberdeen, for 25 years. After completing his studies, he worked initially as a software engineer before forming his own corporate entertainment company, specialising in employee engagement, which he ran for 14 years.  He now lives back on Iona, along with his wife and 2 children, and is a full time owner operator of the St Columba Hotel.

Mhairi Killin – Iona Renewables trustee and Iona Energy Ltd. director

Mhairi is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist who has lived and worked on Iona since 1997. Mhairi has a record of multiple solo and group exhibitions as well as residencies. The environment, conservation, sustainability and heritage are all central themes in her work, which is grounded in exploring the island land- and seascapes around Iona, most recently for instance as instigator and lead artist on the critically acclaimed exhibition, On Sonorous Seas. Mhairi is founder and creative director of Aosdana, an island business which is also a significant island employer. She has served on many Boards, and is currently also a Trustee of Iona Cathedral Trust. Mhairi’s connection to Iona goes back several generations.


Reports for Iona Renewables can be downloaded by clicking the option below:

2022/23 Annual Report

2021/22 Annual Report

2020/21 Annual Report

2019/20 Annual Report

2018/19 Annual Report

2017/18 Annual Report