Book Chapter

Trouble on the Horizon? Further Devolution and Renewable Electricity Policy in Scotland



Wood G (2017) Trouble on the Horizon? Further Devolution and Renewable Electricity Policy in Scotland. In: Wood G & Baker K (eds.) A Critical Review of Scottish Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Policy. Energy, Climate and the Environment. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 179-197.;

Although Scotland voted in the 2014 independence referendum to remain in the UK, this offered a window of opportunity for a new devolutionary settlement, with implications for renewables given their importance to the Scottish Government. This chapter seeks to answer whether the new settlement results in a more cohesive set of devolved powers in the key area of Scottish renewable electricity policy, by assessing the Scotland Act 2016 as recommended by the Smith Report alongside both the Scottish Government’s aspirations pre- and post-referendum and the implications for renewable electricity technology deployment regarding the 2020 target and beyond. It is argued here that further devolution did not alter the status quo. Further, the nature and scope of the new powers reaffirms the view that Scotland should remain merely a consultative party in the governance and management of UK renewables policy. Analysis of the new powers shows that the level of influence held by the Scottish Government is insufficient to effect real change. This leads to the conclusion that the new devolved powers act as a constraint to the realisation of Scottish-specific renewable electricity policy, with potential impact on large-scale deployment going forward. This has significant implications given calls for another referendum following Brexit.

Title of seriesEnergy, Climate and the Environment
Publication date31/12/2017
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publisher URL
Place of publicationLondon

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Dr Geoffrey Wood

Dr Geoffrey Wood

Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Law, Law