The future of energy in Scotland

Draft strategy outlines ambitious vision for a modern, low carbon Scotland.

A new target to deliver the equivalent of 50 per cent of the energy required for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030 was unveiled today, as part of a key consultation on Scotland’s first energy strategy.

The draft Scottish Energy Strategy, published today, sets out a vision for 2050 for Scotland to have a modern, integrated energy system that delivers reliable, low carbon energy at affordable prices to consumers in all parts of Scotland. The Strategy will build upon the existing economic strengths of the energy sector in Scotland, while protecting energy security and setting out our approach to tackling fuel poverty.

This vision will be supported next month when we will announce details of up to £50 million in funding to be awarded to 13 projects, at sites across Scotland, which will demonstrate low carbon or renewable electricity, heating or storage solutions.

As well as setting ambitious targets the draft Scottish Energy Strategy also seeks views on a number of issues including:

  • The future of onshore wind development in Scotland – reinforcing Scottish Ministers’ commitment to this now well-established technology and setting an ambition to make Scotland the first area in the UK to host subsidy free onshore wind;
  • Innovation in offshore wind, including floating wind, will play a significant role in positioning Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation;
  • The steps Scottish Government can take to support the full range of renewable electricity generation technologies to both meet domestic electricity demand and to provide economic opportunities for Scotland and opportunities for communities to invest;
  • The importance of security of supply, grid investment and the role for large-scale storage, such as pumped hydro storage;
  • The development and use of emerging energy sources and technologies – like hydrogen, for the provision of transport, moving away from petrol;
  • A renewed focus on energy efficiency – taking a targeted approach to reducing demand and transforming homes and businesses across Scotland, including through investment in district heating;
  • The delivery of smart local energy systems – overcoming grid constraints and providing local solutions to local needs;
  • Establishment of a Scottish Government owned energy company and its potential remit in meeting Scotland’s energy needs; and
  • The potential role for renewable energy bonds.

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.”



The draft Energy Strategy and the draft Climate Change Plan together provide the strategic framework for our transition to a low carbon Scotland. It confirms that it is the Scottish Government’s view that, following a position outlined in his statement by the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy in October, that underground coal gasification (UCG) will have no place in Scotland’s energy mix.

The consultation on the draft Energy Strategy will run until 30 May 2017.

You can respond to the consultation at

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) is a £76 million programme jointly funded by Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is collaborative partnership led by Scottish Government, working with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. The intervention focuses on supporting the acceleration of low carbon infrastructure projects across the public, private and community sectors to develop investment grade business cases to help projects secure public and private capital finance.

In July 2016, the Scottish Government launched the Low Carbon Transformational Demonstrator Call designed to encourage innovative low carbon projects of both design and business models, along with aggregation at scale. Projects were encouraged to be of a significant scale, demonstrate economic, social and low carbon benefits for Scotland. Projects have gone through a robust application process and currently the projects are at due diligence stage. An announcement of the successful applicants with details of the projects, location and amount of grant offer will be announced in February 2017.


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