The future of energy in Scotland: Scottish energy strategy

Scotland's first energy strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy system in Scotland.

Executive Summary

Summary: A 2050 Vision for Energy in Scotland

This is our 2050 vision for energy in Scotland:

  • A flourishing, competitive local and national energy sector, delivering secure, affordable, clean energy for Scotland's households, communities and businesses.

This Strategy will guide the decisions that the Scottish Government, working with partner organisations, needs to make over the coming decades.

Realising this Strategy's vision will create opportunities for suppliers and consumers of energy. It will support work already planned or underway to achieve our long term climate change targets, and to address the impact of poor energy provision.

No-one can be certain what that future system will look like. However, we should be confident and ambitious about what we can achieve and deliver over the short to medium term, and focus on the areas where we know there are likely to be low or no regrets options.

Our vision remains guided by three core principles:

  • a whole-system view
  • an inclusive energy transition
  • a smarter local energy model

Summary: 2030 Whole-System Targets

The majority of consultation responses identified our targets as a key element of the Strategy – and central to the 'whole-system' approach.

Our energy supplies, and the ways in which we control and manage our consumption of that energy, are equally important factors.

This Strategy therefore sets two new targets for the Scottish energy system by 2030:

  • The equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources.
  • An increase by 30% in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy.

The equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources.

An increase by 30% in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy.

The Fair Isle Electricity Company supplies the remote island with much of its energy needs, with plans to install wind turbines, a solar array and battery storage to secure 24 hour electricity supply
Fair Isle, Scotland

Scotland's Energy Priorities

The 2050 vision is built around the following six priorities:

  • Consumer engagement and protection – we will work hard to protect consumers from excessive or avoidable costs, and promote the benefits of smarter domestic energy applications and systems.
  • Innovative local energy systems – we will empower our communities by supporting the development of innovative and integrated local energy systems and networks.
  • Energy efficiency – we will continue to take direct and supporting actions to improve the use and management of energy in Scotland's homes, buildings, industrial processes and manufacturing.
  • Renewable and low carbon solutions – we will continue to champion and explore the potential of Scotland's huge renewable energy resource, and its ability to meet our local and national heat, transport and electricity needs – helping to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction targets.
  • System security and flexibility – Scotland should have the capacity, the connections, the flexibility and resilience necessary to maintain secure and reliable supplies of energy to all of our homes and businesses as our energy transition takes place.
  • Oil and gas industry strengths – we will support investment, innovation and diversification across our oil and gas sector, working with industry to advance key priorities such as maximising the recovery of remaining resources, subsea engineering, decommissioning and carbon capture and storage – collaboratively addressing the challenges of today and preparing the sector and its workforce for a positive role in Scotland's future energy system.

Summary: Scotland's Economic Opportunity

This Strategy highlights the connections between the energy system and all parts of the economy, and its importance to sustainable, inclusive growth.

We intend to continue the work that we've been doing with businesses in Scotland – helping them use their experience, adaptability and willingness to diversify in order to become more competitive.

The global market for low carbon goods and services is also growing, spurred by major investments in low carbon technologies in rapidly developing economies such as China, India, Mexico and South Africa. Scotland will use its reputation to help capitalise on this expanding market.

This Strategy places a sharp emphasis on the energy sector's economic role, benefits and potential, from established technologies to those that are new or still emerging. It sets out what more the Scottish Government is doing to help realise this potential under the following key areas:

  • Stimulating Investment;
  • Supporting Research and Innovation;
  • Strengthening Supply Chains;
  • Creating New Business Models;
  • Developing Necessary Skills;
  • Boosting Inclusive Growth;
  • Cultivating Regional Partnerships; and
  • Supporting Internationalisation.

Summary: Monitoring and Engagement

This Strategy makes a strong commitment to improving our approach to public awareness raising and engagement.

Modernising and transforming our energy system will also depend on us finding ways to communicate and to work more effectively and meaningfully with wider society.

We are determined to improve the ways in which we raise awareness and understanding about the choices we face – to allow the strengths, capacities, skills and ideas of consumers and producers of energy to combine and play their part in shaping and delivering Scotland's future energy system.

We will work with our partners to consider and to find new ways to widen out this conversation on our low carbon transition, and to involve the wider public much more effectively in the issues addressed by this Strategy.

To support the delivery of the Strategy, the Scottish Government will publish an Annual Energy Statement which sets out:

  • the latest energy statistics;
  • progress made towards targets;
  • developments under each of the six Strategic Priorities;
  • changes within the UK energy market and international frameworks; and
  • an assessment of technological changes and advances with a bearing on Scotland's energy system.

The Scottish Energy Advisory Board will retain a prominent role as advisors to the Scottish Government and the First Minister, including advising on the Annual Energy Statement.


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