Nicola Sturgeon unveils Scottish energy strategy, moving on from fossil fuels

Scotland’s First Minister has outlined plans for the country’s next 25 years of energy production, transitioning to clean sources and reducing dependence on gas and oil.

The draft Energy Strategy is now under consultation after being published yesterday — Tuesday 10th January — alongside the first Just Transition Plan, the latter designed to ensure that moving away from fossil fuels benefits not just the environment and air quality, but also workers, economies and communities. 

windmill on grass field during golden hour

Particular emphasis was placed on the coming years through to 2030, a key date in both Scotland’s climate targets and those of the UK as a whole, with a promise to accelerate the process of moving away from high polluting power to renewables. This is particularly significant given Scotland’s oil and gas production accounted for around 5% of GVA in 2019, bringing in an estimated £8.8bn to the country.

‘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,’ Sturgeon said ahead of a visit to energy technology research and test site PNDC in Cumbernauld. ‘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,’ she continued. ‘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.’ 

In December, Air Quality News reported on a study that suggested reducing fossil fuel output ‘in response’ to growing use of renewables could quadruple the health benefits associated with clean energy source

Image: Karsten Würth


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