The Scottish Government published its draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan. The draft Strategy maps out the future of its energy sector and sets out an ambitious suite of actions for the Scottish Government, along with actions for industry, the regulator and the UK Government, to realise that bright future over the next decade.
The Strategy builds on that success with three overarching objectives:
- First, to significantly scale up renewable energy production, helping to secure a just transition away from fossil fuels. As part of this transition, overall energy demand will also reduce.
- Second, to secure continued and increased investment in the net zero energy economy. The delivery of this strategy will mean more jobs, a growing supply chain, new manufacturing capabilities, new skills, new export opportunities and thriving communities.
- And third, to deliver a fairer, more secure energy system that is no longer reliant on volatile international commodity markets and delivers lower costs for consumers. That requires stronger, more targeted action from the UK Government to reform the energy market in a way that is fair, and to create the right conditions for the investment needed in infrastructure to support the expansion of renewables.
The draft Strategy also sets out the very significant opportunities for Scotland in transforming our energy system.
Scotland already has 13.4 Gigawatts of renewable electricity generation capacity.
It is our ambition to deliver at least 20 Gigawatts of additional low-cost renewable electricity capacity by 2030, which could generate the equivalent of about 50% of Scotland’s current total energy demand
said Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson.
The UK's journey to #NetZero has already began, but needs to be complete within the next eight years. 'The Time is Now' looks at what steps need to be taken and by who to ensure that we all don't fall short of global targets. Watch our documentary, out on January 24th. pic.twitter.com/LaTiKhmpZJ
— Offshore Energies UK (@OEUK_) January 11, 2023
In addition, the Strategy explores the challenges of moving away from oil and gas, and the ability of low carbon and net zero energy generation to not just replace, but to build on, the employment opportunities that people, particularly in the North East, have come to rely on.
Within the Strategy are the first results of the independent research, announced in 2021, and scrutinised by a panel of experts, on the future role of North Sea oil and gas in Scotland’s energy system and economy.
This work shows that, as an increasingly mature basin, production in the North Sea is expected to be around a third of 1999 levels by 2035 and less than 3% of the 1999 peak by 2050.
That projection takes account of the remaining potential development in the North Sea and is without any political decision to reduce consumption due to the climate emergency. This means that domestic production will effectively end within the next 20 years if we do nothing.
For key sectors the Strategy proposes:
- For onshore wind, increasing from 8.78 GW as of June 2022, to over 20 GW by 2030, more than doubling our existing capacity.
- For offshore wind, increasing from 1.9 GW, as of June 2022, through a pipeline of 3.8 GW already consented, to 8-11 GW by 2030. And the results of the ScotWind leasing round reflect market ambition to exceed the current planning assumptions.
- For Solar, this strategy consults on what a future ambition should be, building on our current 411 Megawatts of capacity.
- Tidal-stream also has vast potential and we are consulting on an ambition for tidal and wave energy.
- We recognise the huge potential of pumped hydro storage power to play a significant role in our future energy system. The lack of an appropriate market mechanism from the UK Government is frustrating the realisation of this opportunity for significant economic investment, job creation, and gigawatts of clean energy.
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