Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan – Response from the Landscape Institute
Background for members
The Landscape Institute have responded to Scottish Government’s consultation on the Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan for Scotland which outlines a route map of ambitions and actions in the move towards a net zero energy system, presenting the vision for Scotland’s future decarbonised energy system and the actions needed to deliver it. It sets a vision to 2045 and coupled with detailed sectoral plans and the forthcoming Climate Change Plan, will guide decision-making and policy support to 2030.
The strategy outlines plans and policy positions for the transformation of energy generation, transportation, and use, including a strong focus on maximising the benefits of renewable energy resources. It sets out the scale of that opportunity and provides clarity on how Scotland will prepare for a Just Energy Transition for workers, businesses, communities, and regions. The aim is that the Strategy and Plan will provide policy certainty for consumers, businesses and investors and set a clear direction for the future of Scotland’s oil and gas sector.
Many of the key decision-making powers in energy sit with the UK Government, with responsibility for making or changing legislation and regulations reserved under the Scotland Act. This strategy therefore also outlines areas that that Scottish Government have determined as being critical for the UK Government to act on to secure the full benefits of the energy transition for Scotland.
Landscape Institute response
This consultation is split into 6 chapters:
- Introduction and Vision
- Preparing for a Just Energy Transition
- Energy Supply
- Scaling up renewables
- North Sea oil and gas
- Energy Demand
- Heat in buildings
- Energy for transport
- Energy for agriculture
- Energy for industry
- Creating the Conditions for a Net Zero Energy System
- Route Map to 2045
- Impact assessment questions
- Just transition energy outcomes
We submitted a partial response to this consultation focusing on renewable energy, skills, and green jobs.
- We support the ambition of the vision and the commitment to addressing the energy and climate changes crises, while ensuring the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.
- A bold and multi-faceted approach will be required to achieve net zero targets and the vision reflects this.
- More clarity is needed on the detail and delivery of the vision and a cohesive landscape design and long-term management plan is needed to support this.
- Good design will be essential in ensuring the right balance between utility and the preservation of landscapes.
- More stringent requirements must be put in place to enforce requirements for landscape mitigation for wind farms in order to achieve planning permission for large scale infrastructure developments (Both on and offshore)
- Delivery of energy infrastructure will require a broad range of skills and additional capacity and landscape practitioners possess many of the key competencies required to support this.
- There is a current skills shortage of landscape architects and other landscape professionals, and the sector should be included in strategies to promote green jobs and benefit from funding initiatives.
- There needs to be more readily available information on the full range of “green energy jobs” and clearer support and pathways into the industry.
- Good planning, design and management will be necessary to ensure that increases in offshore developments do not place unsustainable demands onshore and can be managed in both landscape and environmental terms.
- A landscape and environmental design and management approach is essential when considering the development of bioenergy sites.
- A joined-up design approach is needed in the planning and management of the transition to cleaner energy for transport.
- A wide range of support is needed for the agriculture sector in the move towards decarbonising energy use and should be integrated with measures to increase biodiversity and habitat creation and to improve landscape management.
- We welcome the assessment of the tools and guidance needed to assess the net carbon impacts of development proposals on peatlands and other carbon rich soils.
- Sensitivity will be needed in the roll-out of any guidance and assessments should be made on a case-by-case basis as part of a wider environmental assessment.