Response to the Scottish Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan

Energy Systems Catapult welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft Scottish Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan. Since 2018, the Catapult has supported over a dozen Scottish SMEs of different maturity levels through our ‘Energy Launchpad’ service. We estimate that the support we provided has aided those SMEs to raise c.£23 million in funding (the Catapult itself is not involved in any fund-raising activities on behalf of the organisations we work with).

Currently the Catapult is acting as Technical Adviser to the Welsh Government for its roll-out of Local Area Energy Planning to all of its 22 Local Authorities. Having devised Local Area Energy Planning as a whole systems approach to creating an effective decision-making framework for local decarbonisation, the Catapult is well-positioned to provide this response to Scottish Government.

We note a number of positive features of the Energy Strategy. In particular:

  • The level of ambition articulated in the Energy Strategy reiterates Scotland’s leading position within the UK in pursuing the clean energy transition. This level of ambition is consistent with opportunities to transform the lives of people, and to support green growth, fuelled by innovation.
  • There is a notable attempt to embed whole systems thinking throughout the Energy Strategy, as evidenced by similar attention given to energy demand as to energy supply, specifically the focus on the need to reduce demand for fossil fuels from industry and private transport.
  • Embedding the Just Transition Commission’s recommendations throughout the Energy Strategy is an important step and provides a succinct rationale for the content included. It also helps embed aspects of a whole systems approach by intuitive tracing between needs (identified by stakeholder groups) and action (provided by the Energy Strategy).
  • The use of case studies throughout the Energy Strategy brings a sense of realisation to the ideas articulated therein. Further pathfinder projects that look to implement a whole systems approach can help provide a justification for whole systems thinking and will ultimately lead to better outcomes for policymaking.

We also think there is room to improve the Energy Strategy further. In particular, we would like to highlight the following gaps or weaknesses with draft that has been consulted on:

  • Focus on place-based policies
  • Applying whole-systems approaches in practice
  • Enabling institutional behaviours and structures

Scottish Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan

Produced by Tim German, Senior Strategic Relationship Manager, and Ben Shafran, Head of Markets, Policy & Regulation

Markets, Policy and Regulation

The Markets, Policy and Regulation team is our centre of excellence for energy policy and regulatory knowledge. Offering independent and technology-agnostic evidence, analysis and thought leadership to tackle the hardest problems on the way to Net Zero.

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