Energy Strategy Consultation: Common Weal submission

Overview —

This consultation response from the Common Weal Energy Working Group strongly supports the idea of a national energy company which can support local energy co-operatives and small energy suppliers.


Susan Brush

Iain Wright

Gordon Morgan

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Common Weal warmly welcomes publication of this draft energy strategy and its “Whole System View” that includes both short and longer term targets and visions.

We also welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to honouring climate change targets, showing Scotland is indeed playing a leading and responsible role in the world. We welcome the quality of public discussion generated by the consultation and we are pleased to take the opportunity to respond to it.


― Recognises the huge economic contribution North Sea Oil and Gas have made to the Scottish economy

― Urges the Scottish Government to add a “just and fair transition” of jobs to the low carbon economy as a priority, and to seek alternative sectors using the skills base and domestic supply chains we have. Alternative sectors are likely to include offshore renewable generation and on-land infrastructure (e.g. district heating, for which we currently import the pipework) as well as decommissioning mature oil wells.

― Has concerns regards the primacy given to the development and commercialisation of CCS, and has questions regards its technical feasibility and cost effectiveness and the implication that fossil fuel plants could be retained longer than necessary. Nevertheless we welcome the EU funding of the Acorn project to test the feasibility of CCS at Peterhead

― Support, in principle, exploration of new non-fossil fuel energy sources, provided they come with safeguards of environmental protection, take cognisance of public opinion, especially of communities affected (both local and communities of interest), and a fair settlement is agreed with local communities.

― Has a specific concern about unconventional oil and gas which includes not only environmental matters and strong public opposition, but the licensing arrangements: that licenses are currently sold by Crown Estates, with no input at a local or Scottish level other than within the Planning process.

― Strongly supports exploration of alternative energy carriers, such as hydrogen.

― Supports the priority of increasing renewable generation.

― Views that the fifth priority, “increasing the flexibility, efficiency and resilience of a future energy system”, as fundamentally essential to underpin whatever future energy system we will have. This matter is complex and merits far greater discussion and we have addressed it at greater length below.

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