By Our Scottish Parliament Correspondent
The call from Scotland’s Renewable Future Forum (SRFF) for a ‘joined up’, system-wide approach to inform the government’s new Scottish Energy Strategy has been agreed by the Scottish government.
As a result, the Scottish Energy Strategy will include detailed proposals for de-carbonising the heating and transport sectors when the draft is published for public consultation by Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Energy Minister in Spring 2017.
This top-level broad policy overview of the new strategy was confirmed at a THRIVE for Energy meeting by high-level Scot-Govt officials in Edinburgh.
Wheelhouse told MSPs yesterday that his Scottish Energy Strategy will be launched in tandem with a public consultation on onshore oil and gas exploration as well as the Scot-Govt’s draft new environment bill which will set out proposed new targets to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Minister’s senior officials later confirmed that the ‘whole system’ Scottish Energy Strategy would also look at ‘carrots and sticks’ to increase take-up of energy-efficiency measures in the private rented housing sector.
At the same time, new nuclear power stations – big or small – will be specifically excluded from the new Scottish Energy Strategy because of the minority-led SNP-Government’s ‘no nuclear’ policy.
The strategy is also likely to include a series of ‘carrots and sticks’ across the entire public sector built-estate to encourage local cooncils (for social housing and schools) NHS boards, police and fire boards and court buildings to maximise energy-efficiency measures.
A clear pathway through the lagging and insulation home energy-efficiency maze may also be included in the Scottish Energy Strategy.
Other options include making the installation of solar power panels on new-build housing compulsory.
The THRIVE for Energy meeting also aired ‘systemic’ problems in devising, developing, and funding and delivering, large-scale de-carbonised domestic heating systems given the capacity constraints on onshore wind farms and the inability of renewables to match intermittent demand.
The head of a Glasgow-based energy trade association also highlighted the difficulties created by ‘inconsistency and chronic uncertainty in central government policy’.