The Scottish Government must grasp the opportunity to transform the country’s energy sector.
That is according to Scotland’s Future Energy Taskforce, a group of industry professionals and academics who have laid out a series of recommendations to the nation’s leaders ahead of the release of the new energy strategy.
The taskforce says 2030 is a vital “staging point” on the journey to achieving Scotland’s 2050 energy targets, which include cutting total emissions by 80%.
The group has advised the government to consider banning petrol and diesel vehicles from some parts of Scotland, particularly in busy, congested and polluted areas such as city centres.
A similar scheme is to be introduced in areas of central London.
It said central and local government should lead by example by making sure they only buy and lease low carbon vehicles that produce fewer emissions, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen buses.
The group emphasised the importance of decarbonising the energy sector by moving away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable sources of generation – where fossil fuel plants do remain operational, there is a strong need for carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology to be put into place.
The group also suggested safe, “low regret” options like energy efficiency measures need to be put into place now if green targets are to be achieved, rather than waiting for solutions that may or may not come into fruition in the future.
An example would be to put a programme into place for all homes to be brought up to a minimum energy efficiency standard by 2025, the taskforce added.