Scottish Energy Strategy: “Good, but could do much better’, Scotland Forum of Nuclear-Free Local Authorities tells Wheelhouse

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) Scotland Forum has submitted its views to the Scottish Government’s proposed new Scottish Energy Strategy.

The NFLA – whose members include Glasgow cooncil – welcomes much of the ambition of the Scottish Government to continue to drive a renewable energy revolution forward, but calls for greater ambition in a number of important areas, particularly renewable heat and transport. 

The Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy looks at its plans to continue to decarbonise the Scottish economy and it looks to increase further the development of low carbon electricity, heat and transport over the next three decades.

Scotland is much further ahead with the development of renewable electricity generation than any part of the United Kingdom, and the Energy Strategy places an ambitious target of 50% of all energy (electricity, heat and transport) being generated by 2050.

Councillor Bill Butler (Lab, Glasgow Pollok)
Councillor Bill Butler (Lab, Glasgow Pollok)

Glasgow Councillor Bill Butler, NFLA Scotland Forum Convener, said: “As a strong advocate of local decentralised energy, I am pleased with the general direction of travel of the Scottish Government in their energy plans for the next 30 years.

“The Scottish Government has to face up to the real problems that the UK Government has recently created by slashing subsidies to support renewable energy.

“It will need to find innovative ways to support the industry and the thousands of jobs under threat by these actions.

“The NFLA does not support life extensions for existing nuclear stations and, given the publicised problems of cracking in the graphite bricks, believes that provision should be made for the closure of Torness and Hunterston B earlier than planned. Real ambition has moved Scotland much faster down the low carbon road than England or Wales, but even more could be achieved with a little more ambition from the government.” 

In its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation of its strategy, NFLA: 

  • warmly welcomes the new focus on developing local energy economies; 
  • is disappointed by a lack of practical concrete support for the Scottish solar industry
  • is concerned about the impact of shifting large numbers of households onto electric heating, and believes that, along with establishing more district heat networks, more of a focus on ‘green gas’ could avoid the grid problems associated with the huge peaks in demand likely on a cold winters day; 
    believes that the concept of base-load generation is obsolete. What is required is flexible power (and flexible demand too) so that supply and demand can be matched instant by instant. 
  • would like to see more investigation into the role of CHP-district heating and geothermal heating in balancing green energy; 
  • would like to see more concrete steps to support low carbon heat; 
  • fully supports the aspirations of the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme, it is our view that the timetable though is far too slow and the plans still short of detail; 
  • feels that the focus for the oil and gas industry should be on assisting a just transition for those working in the industry rather than on maximising recovery of oil and gas from the North Sea
  • As the strategic approach to local energy schemes takes on a greater significance, NFLA particularly welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Government to co-operate with Scottish cooncils to deliver Scotland’s energy future.

Scottish Energy News was cited as the primary reference source for several policy points in the NFLA report;  these will be published tomorrow – along with further details on the NFLA report.

This ‘could do better’ response to Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Energy Minister over his proposed Scottish Energy Strategy has also been provided by other bodies across the industrial and academic spectrum; See also:


  • Scot-Govt. pledges £50m investment in 13 new low-carbon energy, heating and storage projects in new Scottish Energy Strategy

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