Wood G (2017) Large-Scale Renewables: Policy and Practice Under Devolution. 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. 13-34. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319568973; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56898-0_2
This chapter examines the development of Scottish renewable electricity policy under devolution from 1997 prior to the independence referendum and the Smith Commission. It specifically focuses on the distribution of powers and the divergence in policy and practice between the UK and Scotland, and the implications for large-scale renewable technology deployment which contributes most to meeting targets. This is relevant given the energy sector is once again entering a new phase of radical reform via the electricity market reform process. Two key points are made here. Devolution has resulted in significant benefits for the Scottish Government in gaining legislative competence and the legitimised capacity to influence UK policy. However, it has not resulted in a clear demarcation of powers between Westminster and Holyrood, leading to largely individualistic, piecemeal and arbitrary arrangements in terms of what is reserved and devolved. This re-opens the debate of whether a comprehensive and cohesive set of devolved powers over renewables would be advantageous not just to Scotland but the UK overall.