If Scotland can achieve a devolved energy policy, at least for heat energy, a universal insulation scheme could be pursued for all our buildings.
This would not only rescue a substantial proportion of our population from fuel poverty and illnesses associated with living and working in damp and ill-heated accommodation, it would transform the energy economy.
Scotland, as north Britain, has a very different heating requirement from those living in the south. A study of the temperature differences between Lerwick and London shows the starkest of contrasts. There can be no contest in the argument for special status in respect of devolving our heat energy requirements. This would allow the Scottish Government to regulate the major energy industries to ensure they invest in a rolling programme to make our buildings energy-efficient to eliminate fuel poverty.
Charging higher prices for the energy sold to consumers would become acceptable if so much less is being used. At the same time, the energy industries need to be encouraged by regulation, and possibly tax breaks, to develop heat recovery schemes.
Schemes like that being pioneered in Glasgow to use heat pumps and take heat from the River Clyde could be built at many of the estuaries in Scotland, including the Forth, the Tay, the Don and the Dee.
District heating, including utilising industrial waste heat for commercial and domestic buildings, has also been a Cinderella which needs policies implemented to expedite development.
Without devolved powers for heat energy, Scotland will remain a third world country with its energy economic potential blighted.
Western Harbour Midway