The RSE's Energy Inquiry aims to contribute to the important debate around Scotland’s energy supply, demand and use; a debate that needs to recognise our moral and environmental responsibilities. It will also look to inform the policy and decision-making at a Scottish, UK and international level that will ultimately decide whether the path Scotland chooses to follow provides the resources needed at acceptable financial, moral, ethical and environmental costs.

Scotland's Energy Future


The RSE launched its major inquiry into the future of energy in Scotland in November 2017. This followed on from successful inquiries undertaken on Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation (2014), Tapping all our Talents: Women in STEM (2012), Facing up to Climate Change (2011) and Energy Issues for Scotland (2006).

Remit of the inquiry:

  • To review critically the current forecasts of energy demand in Scotland and the influences on it
  • To examine how that demand may be met, assessing the feasibility and security of the range of possible sources of supply
  • To take account of the environmental imperative to reduce carbon emissions, and associated political commitments
  • To consider the moral and ethical implications of the various options open to Scotland; how and where energy resources are developed, the way in which we use them, and the level of responsibility we have as a nation for the energy we consume

Outcomes of the inquiry:

  • Engage with the public, industry, communities, local and central government, and other interested bodies, to stimulate debate on Scotland’s energy needs; and the options available to the country to meet these needs
  • Provide clear information on the merits and demerits of potential energy options available to Scotland across a range of criteria
  • Consider the social dimension of energy issues, including affordability, public participation in policy, and potential effects on communities
  • Deliberate on the future of energy in Scotland in the short, medium and longer-term; how changing technology, supply, demographics, and other variables can be adequately assessed to allow a long-term vision for the country to be developed
  • Disseminate its findings, with specific recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders at the local, Scottish, UK, and European level

Final report:

The Committee’s report, Scotland’s Energy Future (June 2019), has now been published.


For information on Scotland’s Energy Future, please contact the Inquiry Secretariat, Craig Denham.