On 30 June 2009 the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee published its report entitled "Determining and delivering on Scotland's energy future".

During an extensive 12 month inquiry, the Committee heard from 120 people involved in Scotland's energy sector and considered over 125 written submissions in order to recommend how the Scottish Government can meet its objectives of increasing renewable energy generation and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants in line with the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

The Report sets out a number of recommendations that together form a political action plan for the future of Scotland's energy and are based on four key goals:

  • building an efficient system;
  • environmental sustainability;
  • social justice; and
  • maximising economic and employment opportunities.

The recommendations include:

  • a multi-million pound investment programme to tackle fuel poverty and reduce energy demand in Scotland over the next decade;
  • extending the operating lifetimes of Scotland's existing nuclear power stations (provided this is viable) to allow time to increase electricity generation from alternative sources; and
  • accelerating the consent process for infrastructure developments of strategic importance to Scotland's electricity system, such as the proposed Beauly-Denny line, in order to unlock renewable energy resources.

The Report is expected to be debated by MSPs in early autumn.

Speaking about Scotland's energy future, Committee Convener Iain Smith commented: "Scotland is incredibly well positioned in terms of energy resources – rich oil and gas reserves, the largest wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe, and a well-supplied power generation market. However, there are immense challenges ahead in terms of the future of energy production and consumption. This report sets out our energy vision for Scotland and how best the Scottish Government can achieve it, striking the right balance between energy costs, security of supply and the environment."

The report is available in full from the Scottish Parliament's website at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/eet/reports-09/eer09-07-vol01-01.htm