Response to Scottish Government’s Draft Energy Strategy & Just Transition Plan
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ENERGY STRATEGY “CLUTTERED AND CONFUSED”
- Reform Scotland calls for Government to be clearer about costs and timelines
- Think tank responds to consultation to suggest improvements on the journey to net zero
Reform Scotland, a public policy institute which works to promote increased economic prosperity, opportunity for all, and more effective public services, has today responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Draft Energy Strategy & Just Transition Plan.
Its submission follows the recent publication of a report: Powering Ahead: Decarbonising Scotland’s Energy. In that briefing, the think tank argues that while Scotland excels in its use of renewables for electricity, our use of gas for heating, and oil for transport has been increasing, with the Scottish Government not going far enough, fast enough to reverse these trends.
Reform Scotland’s response to the consultation makes a series of comments including:
- The Draft Strategy references at least 18 other visions and strategies creating a messy policy landscape that is both confusing and near impossible to track.
- The demand side reads more like a wish list, as opposed to a route map detailing how important goals are to be reached.
- Scotland will need a huge increase in electricity capacity. Should we be dismissing Small Modular Reactors so easily? Are we shutting Scotland out of new developments and investment in technology which may help us on the decarbonisation path?
- To reach net zero it is essential that we move away from fossil fuels, but we are also managing this transition at a time when there is great instability in the world. It would be a ridiculous position for Scotland to find itself in if it ends up having to import fossil fuels and losing skilled workers while simultaneously boasting about a decline in domestic production
In its response Reform Scotland set out a number of policy suggestions including:
- Creating a public timeline indicating all of the government’s targets and policies alongside the progress being made towards each of them, and an openness about the potential upfront costs that consumers and the public purse could face
- Public awareness campaign advising people how to make their homes fit for the 21st century, alongside clarity of when changes will be enforced. Such transparency would also offer clarity to industry.
- Exploring the opportunity to make other more immediate changes, such as banning new gas boilers in new buildings or new gas cookers in homes.
- Scrapping Vehicle Excise Duty and Fuel Duty and replacing them with a pay-as-you-drive form of road pricing.