Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

There are two issues in Liam McArthur’s questions. The decarbonisation of transport is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a society. I accept that biofuels will not be the only answer that we need to explore. That is why it is important that there are measures in the energy strategy—I appreciate that Liam McArthur has not had a chance to see them—on decarbonisation through electrification as well as hydro vehicles and hydrogen, which I cited in my statement. Hydrogen is being used in Aberdeen for a bus fleet. It is also being used in Fife, and I commend Fife Council for using hydrogen for refuse-collection vehicles, smaller vans and light goods vehicles.

Good pilot work is being done, including some in Orkney. Liam McArthur is right to have mentioned that Orkney is a bit of a living laboratory. Very good work is being done on using hydrogen in the ferry fleet there, which takes advantage of the off-grid nature of Orkney, where surplus electricity that has been generated is used to create hydrogen for use in transport.

We are considering all those issues and we would welcome feedback from industry on how best we can achieve our goals.