Scotland, Nuclear Energy Policy and Independence

Heffron, Raphael J. and Nuttall, William J. (2017). Scotland, Nuclear Energy Policy and Independence. In: Wood, Geoffrey and Baker, Keith eds. A Critical Review of Scottish Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Policy. Energy, Climate and the Environment. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 103–126.



This chapter examines the role of nuclear energy on current Scottish energy policy, an underexplored area of value whether Scotland remains in the UK, secures independence or further devolution post Brexit. A recurrent theme in the analysis is that whether one is for, against, or indifferent to new nuclear energy development, it highlights a major gap in Scotland’s energy and environmental policy goals. Too often, the Scottish Government perspective has been reduced to a low-carbon energy development debate between nuclear and renewables, with little reflection on how to reduce fossil fuel dependency. Aspirations to being a low-carbon economy, a global leader in climate change and to decarbonising its electricity market means Scotland needs to tackle the issue of how to stop burning fossil fuels.

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