Some of Holyrood’s new (and not-so new) MPs – along with members of Scotland’s renewables sector – will get their first chance to scrutinise the government’s new Scottish Energy Strategy early in the New Year.
The next meeting of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SPREEE) will be chaired by Liam McArthur, the Lib-Dem MSP for the Orkneys.
A number of Scottish energy bodies – including Scotland’s Renewable Future Forum – have already submitted their plans for inclusion in the Scottish Energy Strategy, which Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse is due to publish in first draft for consultation next month.
Calls for ‘joined up thinking’ and a ‘holistic approach’ by de-carbonising the heat and transport industries have been prominent – including ‘low hanging fruit’ such as greater energy efficiency for a win-win on tackling CO2 emissions and fuel-poverty – while Perth-based utility SSE sees domestic storage heaters as the solution.
For SPREE, energy-efficiency is an ‘unfinished business’ no-brainer.
At its last meeting, Professor Karen Turner from Strathclyde University told MSPs that – in collaboration with the Fraser of Allander Institute – the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde has been considering the wider economic case for supporting increased energy efficiency in the domestic, commercial and public sectors.
She explained why energy efficiency is important and discussed the rebound effect and the IEA’s work on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency.
See: Scotland’s Renewable Future’s draft new Scottish Energy Strategy
Prof. Turner concluded by highlighting that ‘energy efficiency can help the economy to grow in a more sustained and sustainable way’ and noted that this economic benefit is not restricted limited to jobs in the industries involved in making buildings more efficient.
She said: “Rather, <energy efficiency> it puts more money in people’s pockets, can make firms more competitive and ultimately delivers wider economic returns that will compensate for directing infrastructure spend in this way.”