Scotland's electricity is currently produced by a small number of large coal, gas and nuclear generating stations, together with a larger number of smaller renewable plants (mainly established hydro and onshore wind). We wish to move to a much greater proportion of renewable energy together with clean energy from coal and gas.
In meeting the demand for electricity, nuclear energy will continue to play a part for the life of the current power stations. But the Scottish Government is clear that new nuclear power is not wanted or needed in Scotland. There is no clear or reliable proposition on storage of nuclear waste and we are not willing to countenance such very substantial and also open-ended costs for this and future generations.
Coal and gas will continue to play an important part in electricity generation, providing baseload, but there is a clear need for a reduction in associated emissions. We want to see Scotland playing a leading role in the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to allow us to continue to utilise fossil fuels while reducing the level of harmful emissions being released into the atmosphere. As elsewhere in Europe, the Emissions Trading Scheme will provide a commercial incentive for investment. With existing skills and know-how from involvement in the North Sea, Scotland is well placed to take a lead and generate wider economic benefit. The Scottish Government has assisted research on CO2 storage locations around Scotland which concluded that Scotland has an extremely large CO2 storage resource which can easily accommodate the industrial CO2 emissions from Scotland for the next 200 years. The Scottish Government are also pressing the UK Government for quick action; and seeking to be fully involved in European action to support CCS.