In its latest report published on 17 June, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has outlined the options for meeting Scotland’s energy needs.
It looked at a range of different technologies which it assessed based on the following criteria:
- climate change impact
- energy security, and
- social acceptability and economic wellbeing
The assessment matrix can be seen below in Figure 1.
Those options fairing most badly in meeting Scotland’s energy needs included importation and pumped hydro.
Importation scored as ‘mostly negative’ for climate change impact and social acceptability and wellbeing. This, says the RSE, is attributed to a block on allowing Scotland to take full responsibility of its production and use and may not be viable in the long-term as the availability of electricity for import is impacted by implementation of electrification policies across Europe.
Pumped hydro was deemed as ‘mostly negative’ in terms of energy security and social acceptability and economic wellbeing. This was seen as a substantial investment which would have ‘significant impacts’ on the local environment. That being said, the RSE noted the current pumped hydro capacity’s importance in balancing the grid and offering flexibility.
The report also outlined 10 recommendations including:
- establishing an independent advisory commission on energy policy and governance for Scotland
- improving energy security by increasing the capacity and diversifying its range of storage options, and
- timely consideration by both the Scottish and UK government on investments that must be made, timeframes for investment activity and returns on potential investments
The report will be looked at further in our Scottish Energy News weekly newsletter to be released on 21 June. For any questions or queries relating to this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01603 604400.
Figure 1: Technology options for meeting Scotland’s energy needs