Scotland has the potential to lead the world in smart integrated energy systems, according to a new report.
The Carbon Trust said it has outlined a vision for the country to harness its natural resources and technology innovation capabilities.
It said developing a fully integrated energy system would help Scotland meet its carbon emissions targets, create jobs and secure an international leadership position in smart grid technology.
The current targets are for Scotland to meet 30% of its overall energy demand from renewables by 2020 and for 100% of electricity demand to be supplied from renewable sources.
The Carbon Trust report said progress on heat and transport targets needs to “accelerate significantly” over the next five years to meet the existing targets.
Andrew Lever, the trust’s director of innovation, said: “Scotland has come a long way in the journey towards meetings its ambitious carbon reduction targets and we believe Scotland has now reached an important juncture in this journey.
“By pulling all the strands of the energy strategy together the nation has a significant opportunity to optimise the use of Scotland’s abundant renewable energy resources and exploit its distinctive characteristics to not only meet the nation’s climate change targets, but generate significant economic value for Scotland in the long term.
“To realise this vision Scotland needs a new integrated smart energy system. This is good news for Scotland. We believe it has the skills and capacity required to address many of the innovation challenges that exist and the political will to unleash the nation’s potential to deliver Scotland’s future integrated low carbon energy system.”