Scot-Govt’s planned new Scottish Energy Company gets thumbs-up in expert report commissioned by local councils in both England and Scotland

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

A new national Scottish energy company could deliver many political, social and economic goals, according to an expert report commissioned by the association of nuclear-free local authorities (NFLA).

The commitment to creating Scottish Energy Company was first announced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in October 2017.

As part of its consideration of the benefits of a Scottish-wide Energy Company, the NFLA invited Dr David Toke, Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy at Aberdeen University, to brief its Scotland Forum on this matter.

Dr Toke has also provided the NFLA with a thought-provoking report of how a Scottish Energy Company could enhance further its renewable energy ambitions. 

The independent NFLA report concludes that:

  • The Scottish Government’s goal of setting up an energy company could re-energise renewable energy in Scotland and deliver electricity at competitive prices for the consumer.

  • A Scottish Energy Company could potentially out-sell rival competitors by giving long term power purchase agreements to new renewable energy schemes.

  • The new Scottish Energy Company initiative could be backed by activities of the Scottish National Investment Bank to offer loans to new renewable energy projects.

  • There are a number of potential renewable energy projects that can be implemented for prices at or below recent levels in wholesale power prices that such an initiative could support.

Already in England, Nottingham and Bristol Councils have developed local energy companies, and a number of Scottish cooncils, such as Aiberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are considering a variety of different energy models to help them to develop their own low carbon projects and ambitions.

Dr David Toke commented: “The Scottish Government has a great opportunity to become the UK leader in the supply of green energy.

“It can achieve this if its proposed Scottish Energy Company is able to offer long term power purchase agreements for new onshore wind and solar projects.”

NFLA Scotland Vice-Convener, SNP Renfrewshire Councillor Audrey Doig added: “This expert analysis by Dr David Toke is very useful to the NFLA as it considers its own views on whether the Scottish Government should consider developing a Scottish Energy Company.

“NFLA is a strong supporter of both decentralised and renewable energy as a component part of a present and a future low carbon energy mix. Local authority owned energy companies like Robin Hood Energy and Bristol Energy are showing Councils can provide a positive role in the generation of decentralised low carbon energy.

“Scotland has led the way in the development of renewable energy and the Scottish Government should actively consider if developing a Scottish Energy Company can bring added value to that. As ever, NFLA engages in this process as part of its role to provide innovative and imaginative solutions to drive low carbon energy forward in Scotland, the wider UK and Ireland.”

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