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Press release: Experts vocal over draft Energy Strategy

Energy industry leaders have given their opinions on the Scottish Government’s draft Energy Strategy ahead of a conference session on the issue next week.

Neil Kermode, Managing Director of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), called the plan “clear, aspirational and therefore challenging to do”.

Jonny Clark, Managing Director of Edinburgh consultancy ITPEnergised said it must focus on “transcending relatively short-term political horizons”.

And Crispin Matson, UK Head of Energy at international engineering practice Ramboll, focussed on the need to remove carbon from our heat sector.

The comments come ahead of a session on Scotland’s Energy Strategy: How Can it Deliver? at Scottish Renewables’ Annual Conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (March 21-22).

Neil – who heads up the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre – told how the Scottish Government’s strategy ‘sets out the landscape in which the changes need to happen’.

Neil Kermode (Credit Scottish Renewables)

“The draft Scottish Energy Strategy is excellent as it joins the dots together on renewables, transport and heat and shows a transition away from fossil fuels to a sustainable economy. It is clear, aspirational and therefore challenging to do.

“But it also sets out the landscape in which the changes need to happen and signals the direction of travel that Government wants to see. It is refreshingly clear.

“In Orkney, over recent years, we have seen people around us begin to make the transition and join those dots themselves. We have seen the uptake of electric vehicles by people who have put in their own renewables and are keen to maximise use of their output. We have seen people shed excess wind power into heat in their houses.

“And at EMEC we are building the means to take un-exportable tidal power and turn it into hydrogen which we will use to power ferries, cars and anything else we can.

“All of this is building local capacity and skills that we are already exporting from the islands. It all maps perfectly onto many of the underpinning principles of the UK’s Industrial Strategy too: low-carbon technologies, developed for local use, in areas that are not the South West, and in which we have a world lead, and export market. What’s not to like?”

ITPEnergised is a world-leading Edinburgh-based consultancy offering energy, environmental, engineering, technical advisory and renewables asset management services.

Managing Director Jonny Clark said:

“Much of Scotland’s significant progress towards a low-carbon economy has been made through electricity generation, stimulated by UK Government subsidies and our advantageous natural resources, in particular wind and hydro.

“As we all know we have now entered a different era, so the new Scottish Energy Strategy needs to give a clear direction of travel and set out targets which address the carbon-intensity of our electricity generation and, in particular, our heating and transport systems, where possible aligning with the UK Government’s wider industrial strategy to deliver win-wins.

“To do that it’s vital that the Energy Strategy both transcends relatively short-term political horizons and recognises we are part of a wider UK and European energy network.

“A clear vision and minimising uncertainty is key to attracting and stimulating investment in the sector, which will in turn deliver employment, social benefits and help us meet our climate change goals. In order to deliver additional economic and social benefit to Scotland I would also like to see the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy maximising the potential of the export of technology and skills developed in Scotland to other markets, positioning us as a world leader in low-carbon energy.”

Engineering consultancy Ramboll employs 13,000 people worldwide and has particular experience in renewable heat, having helped deliver Scotland’s National Heat Map on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Speaking of the draft Scottish Energy Strategy ahead of next week’s conference, the company’s UK Head of Energy Crispin Matson said:

“Meeting the heat component of a 50% ‘all-energy’ 2030 target will be difficult, particularly if this relies on the continuing uptake of biomass heating.

“Denmark, like Scotland, has a high degree of renewable electricity being generated by wind power. Denmark however has an extensive network of district heating. By combining large scale electric heat pumps with district heating networks they are using their surplus wind power to supply low-carbon renewable heat in a very cost-effective manner.

“This Danish solution could therefore be applied to Scotland. What it needed is the application of district heating networks combined with heat pumps to the key urban areas of Scotland. Legislative and financial incentives should be introduced to achieve this required significant take up of district heating.”








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