We are particularly encouraged by its recommendation that the Scottish Government considers including a nationwide energy demand reduction, efficiency and renewable heat initiative as a national development. Such a programme would create jobs, reduce fuel poverty, and reduce energy demand, reducing the need for additional generating capacity.

We are also encouraged by its understanding that carbon capture and storage technology needs greater support if it is to deliver carbon reductions on a commercial scale in the near future. We agree that national priorities for new ‘load-following’ power plants should not be based on an assumption that ‘carbon-capture readiness’ will ensure deployment of carbon capture on a technology specific basis. However the Scottish Government remains right to exclude nuclear power as an option. As well as the risks and wastes involved, nuclear cannot provide the flexible, load-following generation capacity that Scotland needs to match its rich renewable power sources.

We also welcome the suggestion by the committee that the Government reconsider the inclusion of further rail investments in the NPF. We  support their firm calls for further consultation on, and careful environmental consideration of, national developments going forward. We trust that the omission of any reference to airports was a recognition that the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change committee was also examining the NPF and would be best placed to comment on the potential incompatibility of airport enhancement and climate change targets.

ENDS

Media contact: Owen Davis 0131 243 2719 (office) 0131 243 2715 (redirect to mobile)