What will Scotland's net zero economy look like ?

Scotland’s successful transition to a net zero economy is not about either-or choices, but focusing on all the areas that can make a difference to a greener future.

The Scotsman’s webinar, Kick-Starting Scotland’s Green Economic Recovery, heard a range of experts discuss the scale of the challenge ahead.

Morag Watson, Head of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said although Scotland was generating 97.4% of its electricity through renewables, there was a big job in decarbonising energy use in transport and heat.

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While electricity and transport each make up about 25% of energy use, heat accounts for 50% of energy use in Scotland. Fitting low-carbon heat technology like heat pumps in homes across Scotland could be a real game-changer, Watson said.

The Cromarty Firth could soon be home to a hydrogen hubThe Cromarty Firth could soon be home to a hydrogen hub
The Cromarty Firth could soon be home to a hydrogen hub

Mike Smith, CEO of NECCUS, an alliance of interests focused on industrial decarbonisation, said integration of all the big projects moving Scotland towards net zero was vital - including the move to hydrogen as an energy source, continued decarbonisation of electricity and carbon capture and storage.

Joanne Allday, a senior executive at Port of Cromarty Firth, said policy had to speed up. “We need clarity of policy direction. The private sector takes its direction from government.”

The Port of Cromarty Firth is leading a large number of energy transition projects, including a hydrogen hub.

Richard Cockburn, a partner and green energy expert with legal firm Womble Bond Dickinson, said Scotland was a little bit behind in its hydrogen transition but lots of effort was being put in to make up ground.

Jacqueline Redmond, a board member at the Scottish National Investment Bank, welcomed the plans for a Cabinet Secretary to cover net zero, energy and transport as an opportunity to bring all the threads together.

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