A 50-year coherent industry energy plan to safeguard the “beating heart of the Scottish economy” has been called for by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC).
SCC chief executive Liz Cameron said the country already had significant wind energy infrastructure, but the future would be “dictated by the development of new technologies to store excess electricity production for use at times of peak demand”.
Cameron has told Holyrood that “with the right investment” Scotland had the potential to become a world leader in the field of renewable energy, a market worth an estimated £1.5 billion, and to create 5,500 jobs in 30 locations across the country.
She said: “Energy is what enables every part of our economy to flourish and the various components of the sector are huge economic contributors in their own right.
“From a strategic point of view, it is vital that Scotland, and indeed the United Kingdom, develops a coherent energy plan for the future over a 50-year period.
“That level of forward planning is essential if businesses are to have the confidence to make investment decisions and would put an end to recent uncertainty in the sector due to fundamental changes in policy such as the UK government’s decision to shift the goalposts on renewable energy policy following the 2015 general election.”