Connecting research and policy realms lies at the heart of CEE ethos and activities. This week, the Centre’s interdisciplinary team responded to the Scottish Government’s invitation for feedback on the Government’s Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan. Published in January 2023, the draft sets out a bold strategy for rapidly decarbonising Scotland with the ambition of reaching net zero by 2045.

Building on the breath and depth of interdisciplinary research conducted by CEE members, Dr Sean Field, Professor Adrian Finch, Dr Nicholas Gardiner, Dr Mette High, Jessica Hogan, Dr Lethy Krishnan Jagadamma, and Dr Emilka Skrzypek submitted their feedback on the draft document.

“This Government document maps out how Scotland will address rising energy demand while addressing climate change over the next 2 decades.” said CEE Director of Policy Dr Sean Field, “It is vital that researchers contribute to the formulation of policy in this area, and CEE researchers are ideally positioned to do this. This is another example of how the CEE is translating research expertise into real world impact.”

The full submission, responding to select questions set by the Government, will be available at a later date, however the key recommendations made by the Centre to the Government included: 

  • that the Government addresses how and where it sources the raw earth materials needed for renewable energy technologies; the emissions associated with extraction of these materials; and the ethics and impacts of extraction on source countries and communities
  • that the Government invests in training the next generation of geoscientists and engineers specialising in the exploration, mining, and processing of earth materials needed for renewable energy production
  • that the Scottish Government distinguish crude oil from natural gas and craft a plan and strategy that reflects the distinct role of each in the nation’s current and expected energy mix.
  • that the Government utilises ‘smart’ technologies to reduce energy demand through increased efficiencies
  • that the Government reassesses the potential for Small Modular Reactors(SMRs), which can provide the low-emissions crucial baseload power needed to counter-balance the intermittency of renewable energy generation
  • that the Scottish Government recognises the importance of long-term community ownership of energy producing assets for an equitable energy transition