The Scottish government recently published its draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, mapping out the future of Scotland’s energy sector with an ambitious suite of actions for the Scottish government, industry, the energy regulator, and also the UK government.
The draft strategy aims to set out the scale and provide clarity in Scotland’s pathway to transform its energy sector from generation to transport, and to usage across the board. Through the strategy, the government envision a “flourishing, climate-friendly energy system” that delivers affordable and clean energy supplies for the country’s consumers. Scotland currently has a great track record in renewables, and this plan further sets out clear policy positions and a road map for the Scottish government to take and the UK government to deliver.
This Strategy builds on three overarching objectives:
- Scale up renewable energy production and secure a just transition away from fossil fuels
- Secure continued and increased investment in the net zero energy economy.
- Deliver a fairer and more secure energy system that doesn’t rely on volatile international markets and supplies affordable and clean energy to consumers.
The strategy also urges the UK government to take permanent action to break the link between the price of electricity and the cost of gas, aiming to help realise the benefits of the low costs of renewable electricity. Moreover, it aims to attract private and inward investment into the energy sector through; government investment in a net zero economy, stable policy mechanisms, and clear market signals with capital investment focusing mainly on the heat, transport and industrial sectors.
With many ambitious plans, the draft Scottish Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan aim to generate affordable green electricity to power the local economy and export to the neighbouring countries, supporting them in their decarbonisation pathways. Combining the potential capacity from wind, solar, bioenergy, low-carbon hydrogen, and hydro-power, the strategy is setting a target for more than 20 GW of additional low-cost renewable electricity generation capacity by 2030.
Bioenergy and Just Transition
On the road to net zero transformation, the draft strategy outlines its plans to review the potential to scale up domestic biomass supply chains, with the support of a Bioenergy Policy Working Group. Moreover, the government aims to develop a strategic framework for the use of finite bio-resources, which will be published in a Bioenergy Action Plan.
Focus on Agriculture
The draft strategy highlights the plan to forward an Agricultural Bill to enable the government’s vision for the sector, which is to ensure that Scotland is recognised as a leader in regenerative and sustainable farming. It is planned to build the evidence base for this plan through developing a range of research in areas including “the opportunities and risks of developing a Scottish anaerobic digestion market from agricultural wastes to produce biomethane, CO2 and digestate”.
Working with the UK Government
Given that the UK government plays a major role as the key decision-maker for Scotland, the strategy outlines the critical areas where the UK government must act to secure the full benefits of the energy transition for Scotland. These include;
- electricity market reform
- support for carbon capture and storage
- action on energy affordability, and
- the development of new market mechanisms to support clean energy technology deployment.
ADBA is preparing its response to the call for evidence launched by the Scottish government to provide views regarding the plan. Please reach out to Wasundara via Wasundara.firstname.lastname@example.org to provide your feedback regarding the AD and energy sector in Scotland.
To read the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition plan — Click here