Call for commission

Inquiry demands radical re-thinking of energy policy

Wind farm contributed

Scotland is sourcing more energy from renewables but still depends on oil and gas


Energy will become more expensive as significant investment is required in the transition to low carbon sources of supply, according to a new report published today.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) revealed the findings of a major, two-year inquiry into Scotland’s future energy requirements and called for an independent commission.

Becky LunnDeputy chairman of the inquiry Professor Rebecca Lunn, pictured, from Strathclyde University said great strides have been made to reduce carbon, but there is still a long way to go. “Almost 80% of our energy is produced from hydro-carbons one way or another, so that is transport, heat and electricity,” she said.

“In Scotland a large part of our electricity is renewables but only about a quarter of our current energy consumption is electricity. Most of it is in heat and transport. We need to take that from oil and gas into something ttat is low carbon which is a significant challenge.”

One solution is to reduce demand by making homes more efficient or make production more efficient, but ultimately do things differently, she said. The energy companies are moving in the right direction but need significant support.

The report, ‘Scotland’s Energy Future’, is the result of extensive research, public meetings, round table discussions and written evidence, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including government, energy suppliers, interest groups, and communities. 

One of the main findings is that no energy policy, no matter how well considered, will solve all the problems and paradoxes of energy supply and use.  The advantages and drawbacks of all options available have been explored by the inquiry, and the report makes 10 recommendations to guide future consideration and development of energy policy. 

The inquiry was conducted by a 10-strong committee of experts and academics, led by inquiry chair, Sir Muir Russell. 

Photo of Prof Rebecca Lunn by Terry Murden

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