The Scottish Energy Strategy which has been set out in draft by the government could include its very own company.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse revealed the vision for the country’s energy future yesterday as politicians look to a low carbon energy future.
A number of ambitious targets have been set including a vision for Scotland in 2050 to have a “modern, integrated system” that delivers reliable carbon energy at affordable prices.
In its report, the “establishment of a Scottish Government owned energy company and its potential remit in meeting Scotland’s energy needs” was described.
It also included a new target to deliver the equivalent of 50% of the energy required for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.
Next month the Scottish Government will also announce details of up to £50million in funding to be awarded to 13 projects at sites across the country.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The decisions we make about Scotland’s energy future are among the most important choices we face as a society. Safe, reliable and affordable energy underpins the continued growth of the Scottish economy, and safeguards the delivery of key services upon which individuals and communities depend. Achieving our vision is also crucial to efforts to tackle fuel poverty and to preventing the damaging effects of climate change, as part of the global community’s fight to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius or less.
“The Scottish Government is determined to support a stable, managed transition to a low carbon economy in Scotland, recognising the very real need to decarbonise our heat supplies and transport system. The oil and gas sector will continue to play a vital role during that transition, because our economy will continue to require hydrocarbons over this period.
“In particular, the renewable energy sector, which now employs more than 11,000 people in Scotland, and which has been a major driver of Scotland’s economy in recent years, has the potential to grow even further, helping us meet our climate change targets through extending our success in decarbonising electricity supplies to secure a step-change in decarbonising energy for heat and transport. Through this, we can build the right environment for innovation, investment and the creation of even more high value jobs in Scotland.
“I am very keen to ensure this strategy, which helps to underpin key aspects of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan which was published last week, is infused with the thoughts and views of people from right across Scotland and I would strongly encourage everyone to participate.”
However, Professor Karen Turner, director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde’s International Public PoIicy Institute, warned the strategy would come up against the challenge of execution.
She said: “A fundamental problem that challenges the delivery of long term energy and climate goals is that a lot people need to be mobilised. For example, changing how we use energy requires millions of individuals and thousands of private firms ‘buy into’ and participate in progress towards what are ultimately a set of wider (even global) societal benefits that may not be perceived as delivering commensurate returns to individual household and companies.
“Now, the question is, what levers does the Scottish Government have at its disposal, or could it seek through further devolution, that would and should do the job of realising our multiple energy, climate, economic and social policy objectives?
“The discussion must not be limited to the technological potential and possibilities – it must focus on the human side of the issue, and the public policy and political challenges that brings”.
The consultation on the draft strategy is expect to run until the end of May.