Delivering a fairer, greener energy system: what you need to know

The Scottish Government has released its new Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, a comprehensive route map for speeding up Scotland’s renewable energy revolution.

The plan sets out how we can accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources, enabling people across Scotland to benefit from cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy.

We’re determined to do it in a way that’s just and leaves no one behind, and to harness the massive economic opportunities of Scotland’s abundant renewable resources.

Scroll below to read all the key points.

Increasing Scotland’s capacity to generate renewable energy

The Scottish Government’s plan sets out how we can substantially increase the current capacity for generating renewable electricity, which is already at record amounts -currently around 13.4 GW (gigawatts).

For context, one gigawatt of energy can realistically provide electricity to around 300,000 homes.

By 2030, we aim to create additional 20 GW of capacity – enough to power around 6 million homes, far more than the amount of households in Scotland.

This increased capacity would account for the equivalent of nearly 50% of all current energy demand of households and businesses.

Tens of thousands of new, good, green jobs in Scotland

The plan proposes a Just Transition to renewable energy in a way that ensures no one who currently works in fossil fuels is left behind – benefitting communities and workers across Scotland with high-quality jobs.

A recent report shows that Scotland’s renewables revolution can create over 380,000 jobs, and also increase the number of jobs in other sectors such as manufacturing.

Analysis shows the number of low carbon jobs in energy production is estimated to rise from 19,000 in 2019 to 77,000 by 2050 as the result of a just energy transition, delivering a 58,000 increase in jobs.

This would mean there are more jobs in energy production in 2050 than there are now.

Our £500 million Just Transition Fund will support the North East and Moray to become one of Scotland’s centres of excellence for the transition.

And we are already seeing the employment benefits from the development of Scotland’s booming offshore wind sector. Scotland is now the best performing part of the UK in the PWC’s Green Jobs Barometer.

Powering ahead with renewable and low-carbon hydrogen

The plan also sets an ambitious target to generate 5 GW of hydrogen power by 2030, with a further 25 GW by 2045.

This would provide a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, and would help to decarbonise heavy industry and transportation.

Scotland is already a leader in innovative hydrogen energy solutions, with the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus fleet in Aberdeen or the world’s first hydrogen-powered heating network currently being developed in Fife.

The Scottish Government’s proposals help to take the hydrogen industry further, maximising all the opportunities for good, green jobs that come with it.

Exporting surplus electricity to boost our economy

Increasing the generation capacity across renewable energy and scaling up the generation of renewable hydrogen will ensure we have enough to export to Europe and the rest of the world.

Exporting surplus electricity and hydrogen would cement Scotland’s position as a green energy powerhouse, while generating more economic growth to benefit our people and communities.

At the same time, exporting our surplus would also support decarbonisation in Europe, helping to achieve Net Zero as quickly as possible and tackling climate change.

Cheaper energy bills and more secure supply for all

Scotland is an energy-rich nation and our plan seeks to ensure that our massive renewable energy resources benefit everyone in Scotland through cheaper bills.

Powers over the energy market are reserved at Westminster, and we are urging the UK government to introduce a windfall tax that applies to all companies benefiting from significantly higher profits, reform the energy market or devolve the powers to Scotland.

With the full powers of independence, we will be properly equipped to harness our potential in renewables and tackle the injustices such as the unfair energy transmission charges set at Westminster.

By setting bold targets for renewable energy generation and hydrogen power, as well as efforts to increase contributions from solar, hydro, and marine energy, the SNP Scottish Government is working hard to make the most of Scotland’s renewable energy resources.

Together, we’re building a fairer, greener, better future for all – and with the full powers of independence, we’ll be able to supercharge our potential.

You can read the full paper on the Scottish Government website.