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22 May 2019 News

Scottish Governments’ Annual Energy Statement 2019

Last week the Scottish Government published its Annual Energy Statement, providing an update on Scotland’s progress in relation to the Energy Strategy, published in December 2017 and the targets under the Climate Change Act.

As well as providing an update, it also allowed the Government to review its priorities and outline its plans to achieve the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Of note is the fact that 2018 saw another record year for Scotland in relation to renewable energy – 74.6% of its gross electricity consumption was generated from renewable sources. As well as renewable energy, the Low Carbon Heat sector has also seen growth although we need much greater focus on this to ensure success decarbonisation, with 54% of Scotland’s energy requirements relating to heating and cooling .

Another area that has seen significant growth is the registration of ultra-low emission cars, where Scotland has seen more growth than the rest of the United Kingdom. In comparison to Europe, Scotland has one of the most complete charge point networks, although this raises questions as to the sustainability of the network in the future to meet this increasing demand.

In order to achieve its target, which it has admitted is ambitious, the Scottish Government will be relying on public, community and private sectors to work collaboratively, and will also require the support of the UK Government and European partners. The impact of Brexit on the energy sector remains to be seen.

The UK Government has confirmed that it will be publishing an energy white paper in summer 2019, although it is not yet fully known what will be contained within this.

Looking to the future, the Scottish Government will be continuing to focus on ensuring consumers are informed and engaged. It plans to introduce energy efficiency standards to the Private Rented Sector, offer further low carbon capital funding through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and look at the potential value that hydrogen could bring to Scotland, to name only a few!

Now Scotland has published its Annual Energy Statement, it will be interesting to see how the UK Government’s white paper compares when it is issued later in the year.  The take away for us is that we must do more now!

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