Wood G (2014) Geoffrey Wood: The Independence Debate and Scottish Renewable Energy Policy and Practice: Is the Referendum That Important?. Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum (SCFF) Blog, 08.09.2014. http://www.scottishconstitutionalfutures.org/OpinionandAnalysis/ViewBlogPost/tabid/1767/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4217/Geoffrey-Wood-The-Independence-Debate-and-Scottish-Renewable-Energy-Policy-and-Practice-Is-the-Referendum-That-Important.aspx
The 2014 referendum on Scottish independence has rightly crystallised attention on the renewable electricity sector. With the possibility of Scotland gaining complete control over energy policy and related areas, understanding the implications for renewable deployment going forward is critical. However, the debate has concentrated on alternate post-referendum visions of the future often mired down in heavily politicised claims and counter-claims. Little attention has focussed on whether or not the Scottish proposals on the table to date amount to a significant change, whether the public vote for independence or to remain in the UK. This is a critical omission in the debate and could play an important role in the post-referendum success of renewable electricity technology deployment and the continuing development of a Scottish renewable electricity and wider energy policy.
This piece seeks to contribute to the debate by examining just how significant are the proposals set out in the Scottish Governments documentScotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland(hereafter referred to as theWhite Paper on Independence) published in November 2013. As I argue in my forthcoming paper, it is important to clarify the context in which these proposals sit in order to understand the implications for future decisions on renewable electricity technology deployment going forward. Key contextual issues include (1) consideration of the Scottish renewable electricity generating mix; (2) an examination of the divergence of powers, policy and practice in Scotland under the devolutionary settlement.