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The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee’s Energy Inquiry Findings

At the end of February the Scottish Parliamentary Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee came to Orkney to gather evidence for their Energy Inquiry; The inquiry itself was to conduct a “health check” of the Scottish Government’s energy policy with a particular interest in electric vehicle infrastructure and local energy matters.

At the time of the visit the committee was able to learn about the various projects in Orkney which included details about the infrastructure for any electric vehicles both here and around Scotland. They also gathered information surrounding a community owned energy project.

 

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee have now made their recommendations., these are that;

• The Scottish Government to put in place a long-term strategic
framework; one covering all aspects of energy, taking a
continuous and whole systems approach, and which could
include the establishment of an independent expert advisory
commission as recommended by RSE.
• The Scottish Government – in the context of RSE calling for a
clearly articulated position on security of supply – to set out its
position on generating capacity, storage and interconnection;
addressing the portfolio we have, the one we need, and how we
plan to bridge any gap.
• Transport Scotland to update us – in light of the retendering
process – of the timescale for awarding the back-office support
for the charging network from the e-mobility service provider,
and to set out how it will ensure an improvement in quality.
• The Scottish Government and COSLA to update us on how they
will ensure the transition away from internal combustible
engine to electric is nationally co-ordinated, strategically
planned and supported by an extensive, visible and reliable
infrastructure.
• The UK Government to outline its role in that transition.
• The Scottish Government to detail how it will meet the target of
4240 fast chargers (22 kW), 2800 rapid chargers (43 kW), 900
ultra rapid chargers at 150 kW and 55 ultra rapid chargers at 350
kW by 2030; and set out what interim progress it needs to have
made to be on track to achieve these numbers.
• Ofgem to provide an update on their considerations of
regulatory reforms that could better support the development
of community energy plans and other local energy initiatives.
• COSLA to take stock of the best examples of innovative work
from around Scotland and present the best of what works at the
local level – whether community energy projects, provision of
EVs infrastructure or any other matters covered in this report.
• The Scottish Government to keep us informed of the actions it
plans to pursue from the Committee on Climate Change’s
advice to lead a shift towards positive long-term behaviours –
an opportunity to embed new social norms, especially for
travel.
• The Scottish and UK Governments to give public engagement
greater prominence and priority in other strands of their energy
transition and climate change work and set out how they will do
so.

The meeting back in February took place at the Stromness Campus and was attended by Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP, Gordon Macdonald MSP and Andy Wightman MSP as well as Scottish Government officials.

The remit for the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee at Holyrood is;

  • To consider and report on economy and fair work matters falling within the responsibilities of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work.
  • Matters relating to the digital economy within the responsibilities of the Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy.
  • Matters relating to energy falling within the responsibilities of the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands.

You can access the full report here

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