Scotland’s first Energy Strategy

Our new energy strategy, ‘The Future of Energy in Scotland’, published on 20 December  2017, sets out the Scottish Government’s long-term vision for the future energy system in Scotland.

The first publication of its kind, the strategy is intended to guide the decisions that the Scottish Government, working with partner organisations, will make over the coming decades. It describes the ways in which we will strengthen the development of local energy, protect and empower consumers, and support Scotland’s climate change ambitions while tackling poor energy provision.

The strategy’s vision for 2050 is built around six priorities:

  • Promote consumer engagement and protect consumers from excessive costs
  • Champion Scotland’s renewable energy potential, creating new jobs and supply chain opportunities
  • Improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes, buildings, industrial processes and manufacturing
  • Continue to support investment and innovation across our oil and gas sector, including exploration, innovation, subsea engineering, decommissioning and carbon capture and storage
  • Ensure homes and businesses can continue to depend on secure, resilient and flexible energy supplies
  • Empower communities by supporting innovative local energy systems and networks

This strategy includes a range of actions that will create opportunities for both suppliers and consumers of energy. These include a £20 million Energy Investment Fund, which will build on the success of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, and a £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund, to provide dedicated support for renewable and low carbon infrastructure over and above wider interventions to support innovation across the economy.

The strategy’s proposed 2030 ‘all-energy’ target to supply the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption from renewable sources captures our ambition to adopt a system-wide approach. Our analysis underpinning the target shows that renewable electricity – which has already outperformed the interim 2015 target of 50% – could rise to over 140% of Scottish electricity consumption by 2030.

Alongside the renewables target, we also announced a commitment to increase the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy by 30% by 2030. The previous energy efficiency target was to reduce final demand for energy by 12% by 2020 (from a 2005-07 baseline). This target was achieved six years early, and final energy demand in 2015 was 15.4% lower than the baseline.

However, reducing demand is only one part of  our energy efficiency ambition. The new 2030 energy productivity target is about squeezing more out of every unit of energy consumed across the economy. Improved productivity will therefore help curb energy consumption without limiting growth – enabling Scotland to meet its ambitious emissions reduction targets whilst still growing the Scottish economy.

Alongside improving the productivity of our energy system, we will also prioritise increasing the proportion of shared ownership within this system. Latest figures from the Energy Saving Trust show a 12% increase in the level of community and locally owned renewable energy capacity operating in Scotland, which now sits at more than 660MW.

This trend is important, as putting energy into the hands of local communities will deliver lasting economic assets to communities across Scotland.

Scotland has world class skills, expertise and knowledge, from the North Sea oil and gas industry to our academic institutions and smaller start-ups, to our cutting edge low carbon technology.

We are working hard to  recognise and build on our achievements and on our capacity for innovation. It places consumers, and their interests, more firmly than ever at the heart of everything that we do.

We are leading the way in promoting community and locally owned renewable energy – well ahead of the rest of the UK.

This strategy will guide decisions of the Scottish Government over the coming decades, making sure that, within the scope of our devolved powers, good stewardship of Scotland’s energy sector.

 – Scottish Government Business, Energy and Innovation Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Background

The Strategy can be found here: www.gov.scot/energystrategy

An open consultation was conducted at the beginning of the year which drew over 250 substantive responses. Those detailed responses, as well as feedback from the Scottish Energy Advisory Board and responses to further consultations on the onshore wind policy statement, local heat and energy efficiency strategies, regulation of district heating, and unconventional oil and gas, have helped shape, inform and influence the strategy.

Energy Savings Trust figures can be found here: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/community-energyreports