EXCLUSIVE: The Royal Society of Edinburgh launches independent new inquiry into Scotland’s Energy Future

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

The Royal Society of Edinburgh – Scotland’s National Academy – has set up a new Inquiry Committee to look at Scotland’s Energy Future.

The inquiry aims to contribute to the important debate around Scotland’s energy supply, demand and use, as well as moral and environmental responsibilities. 

It will also look to inform the policy- and decision-making at a Scottish, UK and international levels in relation to resources needed at acceptable financial, moral and environmental costs.

The committee, which is expected to sit for around 18 months, will consider how Scotland can meet the future energy demand and how to ensure that the energy used is secure, affordable and environmentally justifiable.

It will also examine all areas of the debate around Scotland’s energy future in the context of its commitment to combat global climate change and the environmental imperative to reduce carbon emissions.   

Sir Muir Russel, KCB, DL, FRSE, Chairman of the Scotland’s Energy Inquiry, said: “The Royal Society of Edinburgh has decided to initiate this Inquiry at a time when Scotland’s energy landscape is constantly changing. 

“As the ways in which we heat our homes, fuel our cars, and power our places of work continue to evolve, important questions arise of what Scotland’s energy needs will be in the coming decades, and how this demand is to be met.”

The committee of inquiry seeks to gather evidence and harness the experience of a wide range of stakeholders and like outcomes of the RSE inquiry include:

  • Provide clear information on the merits and demerits of potential energy options available to Scotland across a range of criteria
  • Consider the social dimension of energy issues, including affordability, public participation in policy, and potential effects on communities
  • Deliberate on the future of energy in Scotland in the short, medium and longer-term; how changing technology, supply, demographics, and other variables can be adequately assessed to allow a long-term vision for the country to be developed.

Members of the Royal Society inquiry committee include Professor Karen Turner, Director of the Centre for Energy Policy at Strathclyde University, and Prof. John Underhill, Chief Scientist at Heriot Watt University.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is an educational charity which operates on an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland. Its work includes awarding research funding, leading on major inquiries, informing public policy and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

Established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment, the RSE now numbers some 1,600 Fellows from a wide range of disciplines.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh also conducted a major piece of work into Energy Issues for Scotland (2006).

See also:

Scottish Energy Minister’s superstition-driven decision-making on fracking helps no one


Scots Energy Minister accepts call from Scotland’s Renewable Forum for ‘system-wide approach’ to de-carbonising heat and transport in new Scottish Energy Strategy


Submissions to the Royal Society of Edinburgh inquiry must be made by Friday 29 September 2017.

Responses should be limited to 6 x A4 pages.Evidence can be submitted to the Inquiry electronically at EnergyInquiry@theRSE.org.uk or in hard copy to Craig Denham, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ.

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