World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Energy policy of Scotland


Energy policy of Scotland

Energy policy in Scotland is a matter that has been specifically reserved to the UK parliament under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 that created the devolved Scottish Parliament.[1] However, since planning is a matter that has been devolved, the Scottish government has the ability to shape the direction of energy generation in Scotland by approving or refusing new projects.

In 2004, the Enterprise Committee of the Scottish Parliament called for the development of a 'fully fledged' Scottish energy policy.[2]

The SNP Government that took power in May 2007 specifically included the word 'energy' in a portfolio title when the junior ministerial position of Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism was created to replace the position of 'Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning'.


  • Overview 1
  • Renewable energy 2
  • Nuclear power 3
  • Beauly-Denny power line 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Scotland has a mix of energy sources and is a net exporter of energy at a time when the United Kingdom as a whole is heading towards becoming a net importer. Much of this exported energy is from North Sea oil and gas, and production is expected to continue for the next 50 years.[3]

Renewable energy

Wind, wave and tide make up more than 80% of Scotland's renewable energy potential.

The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century.[4] The natural resource base for renewable energy is extraordinary by European, and even global standards, with the most important potential sources being wind, wave, and tide.

At the end of 2011, there was 4,796 megawatts (MW) of installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 9.5 per cent (416 MW) on the end of 2010. Renewable electricity generation in 2011 was a record high at 13,750 GWh - an increase of 44.5 per cent on 2010. Around 35 per cent of Scotland’s electricity came from renewables in 2011, exceeding the Scottish Government’s target of 31 per cent. Scotland contributed almost 40 per cent of the UK’s renewables output in 2011.[5]

Continuing improvements in engineering and economics are enabling more of the renewable resources to be utilised. Fears regarding "peak oil" and climate change have driven the subject high up the political agenda and are also encouraging the use of various biofuels. Although the finances of many projects remain either speculative or dependent on market incentives, it is probable that there has been a significant, and in all likelihood long-term change, in the underpinning economics.[6]

In addition to planned increases in both large-scale generating capacity and microsystems using renewable sources, various related schemes to reduce carbon emissions are being researched.[7] Although there is significant support from the public, private and community-led sectors, concerns about the effect of the technologies on the natural environment have been expressed. There is also an emerging political debate about the relationship between the siting, and the ownership and control of these widely distributed resources.[8]

A continuing political debate surrounds the uptake and the incentivisation schemes available for renewable technologies in Scotland.[9] There are tensions over the disparity in costs between renewable installations in Scotland compared to those in England with suggestion that this should be recognised by the UK government.[10]

Nuclear power

When the UK Government announced an energy review in early 2006, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and others made clear their view that Scotland did not need new nuclear power stations.[11] By January 2008, when the UK Government gave the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations to be built across the UK, the SNP formed the Scottish Government and First Minister Alex Salmond made clear there was "no chance" of more nuclear power stations being built in Scotland.[12] The Government's stance was backed by the Scottish Parliament which voted 63-58 to support the Scottish Government's policy of opposing new nuclear power stations.[13]

Beauly-Denny power line

A proposed 400kV upgrade to the existing 132 kV transmission network, seen as key to future expansion[14] was held up in planning[15] for three years. There was vocal opposition from some sectors[16] and strong support from other sectors.[17] The proposed 220 km circuit is to run from Beauly, west of Inverness to Denny, west of Falkirk.

In 2008, the first major independent study associated with the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets concluded that the upgrade of the Beauly-Denny power line will be a key to future development.[18]

In January 2010, the Scottish Government approved the upgrade to the Beauly to Denny transmission line.[19]

See also


  1. ^ House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/84 p21
  2. ^ Scottish Parliament Committee News Release June 30 2004
  3. ^
  4. ^ See for example: Scottish Executive (2005) Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy. Edinburgh.
  5. ^ "Scotland beats 2011 green energy target". The Scottish Government. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Monbiot, George (2006) Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning. London. Allen Lane.
  7. ^ "Peterhead hydrogen project".  
  8. ^ HICEC. (2006) Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company Annual Review. (PDF). Inverness. Retrieved on 31 August 2007.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Call to halt nuclear power plans BBC January 23, 2006
  12. ^ New nuclear plants get go-ahead
  13. ^ MSPs vote No to new nuclear stations The Scotsman January 18, 2008
  14. ^ BWEA position on Beauly Denny Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  15. ^ Beauly Denny Public Inquiry website, Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  16. ^ Pylon Pressure website - Beauly Denny Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  17. ^ Friends of the Beauly Denny Power Line Upgrade
  18. ^ Power-line opponents dealt blow by independent study
  19. ^ New offshore wind farm contracts announced BBC News, 8 January 2010.

External links

  • Determining and delivering on Scotland's energy future, Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Report 2009
  • Scottish Government Energy Policy Overview September 2008
  • Scotland's Energy Future: Policy
  • Energy Action Scotland
  • Energy Policy For Europe
  • Enterprise Committee Calls for Fully-Fledged Scottish Energy Policy
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.