Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan

We are consulting on this draft route map of actions we will take to deliver a flourishing net zero energy system that supplies affordable, resilient and clean energy to Scotland’s workers, households, communities and businesses.

Annex D - Research and analysis

This draft strategy considers not only the components of the energy system – energy generation, transmission, and demand – but how they fit together and interact with one another. Decisions taken in one part of the energy system will influence other parts. There are trade-offs involved in many of the decisions we face about our future energy system. Critically, Scotland's energy system is an intrinsic part of, and connected in complex ways, to the wider economy, society and environment within Scotland, as well as being interdependent with wider GB, UK, EU and global systems. We are therefore taking a whole system approach.

A whole systems approach can help to identify key systemic barriers and means to overcome them. For example, ensuring our supply chain is ready to deliver the economic and social opportunities of the transition. It can also help improve decision making across government to deliver truly joined up policy that meets multiple objectives, mitigating unintended consequences from isolated decision making and ensuring that we achieve efficiencies through analysing synergies, common goals and system optimisation.

To help understand the complexity and interlinkages of Scotland's energy system we have produced a series of visual 'maps'. The examples below shows how energy supply, physical networks, and society's demand relate and interact with each other, and how a future energy system is likely to have more vectors and more interdependencies. See figures 36 and 37 overleaf.

The draft Strategy and Plan is informed by a suite of whole systems analysis and evidence. Although all of the studies cited contribute analytical evidence to the ESJTP and the core messages, they need in most cases to be viewed as discrete pieces of work. Results will not necessarily be directly comparable between the different studies since they may have been derived using different methods and different sets of assumptions. Data sourced in this draft Strategy and Just Transition Plan is correct as of 21st December 2022.

Figure 36: Scotland's energy map in the 2020s
Scotland’s 2020s energy system represented as a tube map to highlight the interconnected nature of the system.

Source: Scottish Government

Figure 37: Scotland's energy map in the 2030s
Scotland’s potential 2030s energy system represented as a tube map to highlight the interconnected nature of the system.

Source: Scottish Government

Key sources of information and evidence include

Energy Systems Catapult – Scottish Whole Energy System Scenarios – and Context Document.

The three scenarios met Scotland's annual, interim (2030) and net zero (2045) greenhouse gas (GHG) targets over the modelled period 2020-2050, through different combinations of technology innovation and societal change https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/media/5419/cxc-scottish-whole-energy-system-scenarios-may-2022.pdf https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-whole-energy-system-scenarios-context-document/

Oil and Gas Transition Analysis

As outlined in the Bute House Agreement. This is an extensive analysis of the oil and gas sector to inform future Scottish Government policy, including in areas where we lack devolved competence at present. The ESJTP draws on the programme of work and analysis that we are undertaking to better understand our energy requirements as we transition to net zero.

Scottish Hydrogen Assessment Report

Scottish hydrogen: assessment report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Scottish Hydrogen Action Plan (2022)

Hydrogen action plan - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Zero Emissions Energy for Transport

Zero Emission Energy for Transport Forecasts: National | Transport Scotland

Marine Scotland study

Frontiers | A Review of National Monitoring Requirements to Support Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage (frontiersin.org)

Scottish Scientific Advisory Council Report on Opportunities and challenges associated with hydrogen's role in the future energy system

An assessment of public and key stakeholder views of the hydrogen sector in Scotland, and perception of the challenges, risks and opportunities which exist within the sector. SSAC Hydrogen Technical Briefing Note.pdf (scottishscience.org.uk)

REGEN – Community Energy State of the Sector

Community Energy State of the Sector Reports 2021 - Regen

We are also undertaking further research that can help inform the final Strategy and Plan.

Further Research to be Undertaken / Underway

Preparing Scotland for a Just Energy Transition

  • Monitoring and evaluation of a just transition
  • Carbon Neutral Islands 2040 Sector Readiness and Skills Assessment
  • Understanding the environmental, social and economic benefits of sustainable travel to local highstreets and town centres: A literature and policy review
  • Leveraging community and local energy for a just transition: opportunities for Scotland
  • Understanding the potential impacts of a shift towards climate friendly diets in Scotland: An evidence review
  • Maximising Economic Benefits of Surplus Low Carbon Energy and Infrastructure in Scotland
  • Scottish Futures Trust – Investment opportunities and challenges for the Future energy system in Scotland - An independent report in to the opportunities, challenges and synergies for financing the various components of the whole energy system required to make a net zero transition

Energy supplies

  • Scottish anaerobic digestion market based on agricultural waste
  • Mapping the current and forecasted hydrogen skills landscape
  • The whole system interactions and impacts of high volume deployment of domestic and commercial solar PV on the electricity distribution system
  • Cost reduction pathways of renewable hydrogen production in Scotland – total costs and international comparisons
  • The Whole System implications and economics of Hydrogen locations and production methods

Energy demand

  • Low carbon transport fuels - evidence assessment
  • Zero emissions heating in new buildings across Scottish Islands
  • Decarbonisation of agricultural machinery in Scotland
  • Increasing low-carbon energy production and use in Scottish agriculture through a whole systems approach
  • Encouraging sustainable travel behaviour in children young people and their families: A literature and policy review
  • The future second hand bus market in Scotland: Impact of the move to battery electric buses by major operators
  • Scoping the development of whole building assessment for energy efficiency and zero direct emissions heat in multi-owner and mixed use buildings
  • Communicating effectively on the heat transition
  • Maximum flow temperatures in domestic heating
  • The experiences of early adopters of zero direct emissions heating system and energy efficiency retrofit in Scotland: domestic owner-occupiers
  • Methodology for apportioning measured emissions in non-domestic buildings
  • The environmental, social and economic benefits of sustainable travel to local highstreets and town centres: A literature and policy review
  • Multi-Modal Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure in Scotland
  • Heat in Buildings Public Engagement: exploring attitudes, barriers and capacity of different groups to adopt zero emissions heating systems and energy efficiency measures, in line with proposed regulations

Creating the conditions for a net zero energy system

  • TIMES model industry sector update
  • Electricity system stability and security of supply in Scotland
  • Research on opportunities for Vehicle to Grid in Scotland
  • Electricity network investment required to deliver on Scotland's heat decarbonisation targets


Email: energystrategy@gov.scot

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