2017 Scottish Energy Strategy

Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions will be driven the Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland (December 2017)

2017 Scottish Energy Strategy

The Scottish Government published an Energy Strategy in December 2017.  The Strategy is designed to provide a long term vision to guide detailed energy policy decisions over the coming decades.

The Energy Strategy proposes a new 2030 ‘all-energy’ target for the equivalent of 50% of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources.

The Government says:

“While this level of renewables will be challenging, a 50% target represents an ambitious but achievable goal. Setting this target demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to a renewable future – and to the continued growth of a successful renewable energy sector in Scotland.”

There are no renewable technology specific targets; but clearly as biomass accounts for the largest single source of our renewable energy the 50% target is likely to drive future growth in biomass use.

The Strategy can be found here:

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies

In January 2017, the Scottish Government published a consultation on ‘  Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEEs), and Regulation of District Heating.’

The consultation indicates the Government is considering placing a statutory duty upon local authorities to work with relevant stakeholders to develop LHEEs, and to use their powers to implement that strategy.

LHEEs objectives and specific potential actions will cover a range of issues that are associated with biomass and the key ones are highlighted below.

  • ‘Undertake an area-based socio-economic assessment that would be used to assess the energy efficiency interventions and to identify the most appropriate heat technology for an area and to designate district heating zones.’
  • ‘Set out costed, phased delivery programmes for each strategy period, to ensure that a proportion of buildings in the local authority’s area are improved – cumulatively ensuring that all buildings are improved across all strategy periods to meet the long-term target’.
  • ‘Promote installation of new low carbon heat supplies’

The location, availability, sustainability and reliability of wood chip fuel and its supply chain is a fundamental aspect of determining if and where wood fuel heating can be developed and the extent to which it can help meet these types of objectives under a LHEE.