THERE is a clear imperative to accelerate the clean energy transition and reduce Scotland’s dependence on oil and gas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said ahead of the publication of a new strategy for the energy sector.
The draft Energy Strategy, being published for consultation on the afternoon of Tuesday 10 January, will set out the Scottish Government’s policies on domestic production of energy, alongside a plan to reduce demand and build a resilient and secure future net zero energy system.
Also published will be the first Just Transition Plan to ensure that, as the energy sector grows and changes, it benefits citizens, workers and communities.
It provides a route map of actions, with a particular focus out to 2030, for the Scottish and UK Governments and is central to meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, as well as boosting jobs and improving wellbeing.
Speaking ahead of a visit to energy technology research and test site, PNDC, in Cumbernauld, the First Minister said:
“The imperative is clear. In this decade we must set Scotland on the path to an energy system that meets the challenge of becoming a net zero nation by 2045, that supplies safe, secure and affordable energy for all and that generates economic opportunity through a just transition.
“The current energy crisis has demonstrated how vulnerable our energy system is to international price shocks, while laying bare the need for structural reform to ensure affordability for consumers.
“This strategy will shape the next 25 years of energy production in Scotland. It provides an independent assessment of the future of the North Sea and shows that as we reduce Scotland’s dependence on oil and gas – as both generators and consumers – there is a huge environmental and economic opportunity to be seized.
“Scotland is already at the forefront of the clean energy transition and our green jobs revolution is underway. By continuing to make the most of our vast renewable energy resource, we can deliver a net zero energy system that also delivers a net gain in jobs within Scotland’s energy production sector.”
Responding, Scottish Renewables’ Chief Executive Claire Mack said:
“Scotland’s climate targets are world-leading and renewable energy is already the bedrock upon which their achievement is being built.
“There’s no doubt that meeting net-zero by 2045 will be tough but our industry is already showing that the rewards which come from investing in cleaning up our energy system are impressive, both in terms of economic growth and positive environmental impacts.
“The Scottish Government has a chance with its draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan to set out how it will use its powers to ensure the transition to net-zero will happen in a way which best benefits Scotland. We expect to see a holistic vision with commitments on green power, heat and transport, addressing the many barriers which still stand in the way of renewable energy’s vital growth, and look forward to reading the documents as they are published today (Jan 10).”